Our opinion: Welcome back, Selma Police Chief Kenta Fulford

Published 1:30 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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The Selma City Council reinstated Selma Police Chief Kenta Fulford on Tuesday night.

The decision came before an overflow crowd inside the Council Chambers as most of the audience applauded the move at a Special Called Meeting.

The first Business Item was an Executive Session for a pre-disciplinary hearing for Fulford, who was placed on Administrative leave on January 25.

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City Councilman Sam Randolph motioned for the council to squash the executive session, seconded by councilwoman Jannie Thomas. We agreed with that decision because the public needed to know why Fulford was on Administrative leave.

Perkins and City Attorney Major Madison gave their reasons, questioning Fulford’s leadership during the January 12 tornado that hit Selma. Fulford was at a training session and returned to Selma the next day.

Fulford and his attorney Mark McDermott responded strongly to the allegations. Fulford said he delegated duties to other officers, including Captain Natasha Fowlkes,  Lt. Ray Blanks.

Six Council members voted to bring back Fulford: PRO TEM Clay Carmichael, council members Christie Thomas, Jannie Thomas, Lesia James, and Atkin Jemison. Councilman Michael Johnson abstained.   

We believe if City Council President Billy Young and councilman Troy Harvill had been present, they would’ve voted to reinstate Fulford.

We applaud the city council for making a wise decision to bring back Police Chief Kenta Fulford.