Things must change at City Hall

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 13, 2007

To the Editor:

The reign of tyranny and terror in City Hall and the Selma Police Department must end! What causes Mayor Perkins and Chief Martin to be so paranoid that they issue childish directives forbidding people to talk to one another or to go to lunch with each other?

Do the Mayor and Chief think they speak ex cathedra and by divine fiat in Selma can abolish the first amendment to the Constitution? Where is J. L. Chestnut Jr. when we need him? Lord help us!

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I admire Police Department Evidence Technician Ms. Clarissa Cole who has the courage to come forward and publicly expose the harassment of Department personnel by Martin through his ridiculous and petty actions.

How stupid to write people up because you believe they are gossiping about you. How asinine to tell employees they cannot go to lunch with one another. How absurd to keep employees from taking breaks with other employees.

How ridiculous to not let the Evidence Tech go into the Police Building unless she is accompanied by one of the chiefs flunkies. These are just a few of the less egregious actions of harassment against black female employees that can be printed in a family newspaper.

It has been amusing to watch my beloved council colleagues, the Crenshaw 4, react to the harassment of black female employees in the Police Department.

Rather than speaking up for the women, the Crenshaw 4 want to stifle any black woman who has the courage to stand up for her rights.

How sad that my colleagues are so blind to what is happening at the Police Department that they will not support their own people.

One of the few people in the Police Department with a college degree in criminal justice from AUM and the city’s only certified evidence technician, Ms. Cole has now been suspended by Police Chief Martin.

Because she is much more educated than Martin, Ms Cole reports that she often typed Martin’s sermons and sometimes wrote them for him in whole or in part. Pray for her as she appeals this retaliatory and vindictive suspension to the Personnel Board on Tuesday.

Hopefully, Ms. Cole’s courage will encourage other female employees to speak publicly about the harassment in the Selma Police Department.

Mayor Perkins and Martin need to remember that where there is no justice, there will be no peace.

Cecil Williamson

Councilman Ward 1