Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth made it clear Friday that despite recent comments to the contrary, she and Pine Bluff Police Chief Jeff Hubanks were in contact with the family of Monroe Isadore in the immediate aftermath of the 107-year-old’s killing by a city police officer last year.
Isadore was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police on Sept. 7, 2013.
Two special prosecutors who reviewed the case determined that no criminal charges were warranted against the officer who fired the fatal shots.
The Commercial reported Wednesday that Benjamin Crump, the Florida attorney who represented the family of Trayvon Martin in a wrongful death lawsuit and is now representing the Isadore family, said Tuesday that Hubanks did not try to contact the family after Monroe Isadore’s death.
“I wish to dispel any and all misinformation relating to me, my office and our police department extending condolences to Mr. Isadore’s family,” Hollingsworth said Friday. “I along with Evelyn Horton, Chief Hubanks and Assistant Chief [Ivan] Whitfield met with several family members on or around Sept. 9, 2013. The purpose was to extend our sincere commiseration and to address any questions that they had.”
Hollingsworth said that while it is the right of the Isadore family to hire legal counsel, it is the responsiblity of that counsel to get their facts in order before making public comments.
“My concern starts when you’ve got people coming in who are misinformed and who put that information out,” Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth said her office was not notified about the meeting.
“As I read the article in the Pine Bluff Commercial concerning the town hall meeting held Tuesday in regards to the tragic death of Mr. Monroe Isadore I must state that I was never contacted, invited nor made aware of this meeting,” Hollingsworth said Friday. “I do know that fliers were distributed within City Hall the day of the meeting but at no time was my office contacted with regard to this meeting.”
Hollingsworth said Friday that contrary to comments allegedly made during the Tuesday Isadore meeting she is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“I am a paid member of the NAACP and have been for several years,” Hollingsworth said. “I believe that this organization does a wonderful job with regards to empowering our youth.”
Crump hosted a meeting Tuesday at the Plaza Hotel with Arkansas attorneys John Walker and Lawrence Anthony Walker, who also are representing Isadore’s family.