A small group calling themselves “Concerned Citizens of Pine Bluff” protested the firing of former Pine Bluff Police Chief Brenda Davis-Jones during a press conference Friday afternoon at the Ramada Plaza.
Mayor Debe Hollingsworth fired Davis-Jones on Jan. 1 and replaced her with interim chief Jeff Hubanks, a retired Pine Bluff Police Department lieutenant.
Audra Moore said Hollingsworth “didn’t give her (Davis-Jones) a chance,” explaining that she thought Davis-Jones should have been given a probationary period of 90 days or so.
Eerin McLemore said “The way she (Hollingsworth) went about it was wrong.
“There was so much of it that was done in public and on a holiday,” McLemore said. “It was very unprofessional.”
McLemore said former Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. gave former police chief John Howell “a trial run” and Hollingsworth should have done the same with Davis-Jones.
Redus fired Howell and replaced him with Davis-Jones.
Jihad Muhammad said “it’s all about fairness and transparency.”
Muhammad said that while the city council gave the mayor the authority to hire and fire police and fire chiefs, “they didn’t give them the authority to hire and fire unjustly.”
Noting that an organization of police officers had cast a no-confidence vote against Davis-Jones, Muhammad said the media never reported the number of votes that were cast in that vote.
“Certain Caucasian white males conspired against her,” he said.
During the campaign, both Hollingsworth and Peter Daniels Jr. said they would fire Davis-Jones. Asked about that, Muhammad replied: “We knew Peter Daniels wasn’t going to win anyway.”
Hollingsworth declined comment.