Chief: Police weren’t called to City Hall

Published 7:21 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier refutes a claim that his officers were called to City Hall last week after a meeting with Mayor Darrio Melton, Council President Corey Bowie and Councilwoman Jannie Thomas.

Thomas told the Times-Journal that Melton told her and Bowie to leave his office after they delivered a memo asking Melton to reinstate Ronita Wade as city treasurer.

Melton fired Wade in September; however, the council voted to reinstate her Oct. 12. Less than two days later, Melton put her back on administrative leave.

On Friday morning, Thomas said the following on a local radio talk show hosted by Randy Williams on WHBB: “It wasn’t anything we did to go to jail. We were in there handling public business. Because you don’t like what the person stands for and what the person says, you call the police.”

Thomas also said “next thing we know these cops run through the doors,” and that to her what happened “was staged.”

Collier said officers were not called and were already at city hall when they overheard raised voices.

“Mayor Melton did not summon our officers,” Collier said.

“Officers were in the building and overhead the disruption in the mayor’s office and entered the room based on that. Selma officers conducted themselves appropriately and did their job.”

Collier said Thomas singled officers out by name on the program. The Times-Journal listened to an audio recording of the program provided by the host.

The recording includes more than 50 minutes of the hour-long program and doesn’t include any mention of officers by name.

Collier said he was concerned what was said could damage officers’ credibility and possibly negatively impact their careers.

“I cannot stand by and allow the men and women of the Selma Police Department to be personally attacked for doing their job, and not challenge and refute these accusations,” Collier said.

Thomas said she didn’t name any officers and whatever she said was just an account of what happened from her point of view.

“I don’t even know those officers’ names,” Thomas said. “If you listen to me on the news, I never called any officers’ names. I know what I said. I told him [Williams] exactly what happened …  I have a right to speak what happened.”