Wednesday, January 9, 2008
The Mississippi Coalition for Justice condemned Police Chief Malcolm McMillin's decision to demote former Deputy Chief Tyrone Lewis to sergeant on Monday.
"The action was a racist and arrogant exercise of power by McMillin," said Coalition for Justice member Chokwe Lumumba. "We want Lewis reinstated, and we want an investigation into the why this man demoted him."
McMillin said Lewis violated policy and procedure by allowing his son, Terrell Lewis, to hold private, for-profit parties at the training academy. Lewis told reporters he let his son hold the parties—the most recent in December—because it was safer than holding them at other entertainment venues, such as nightclubs.
McMillin demoted Lewis from deputy chief over training and recruitment to sergeant over planning and research, and put Deputy Chief Lindsey Horton over the academy as interim head.
Lewis, who has been in JPD for more than two decades, suffered a wage cut of about $20,000 as a result of the demotion.
Lumumba challenged McMillin to produce the policy and procedure that Lewis had violated.
"There was no police policy or procedure which prohibited the parties held at the training center," Lumumba said. "The center has, for years, been used by city residents for meetings, athletic events. … Any problem McMillin had with the use of the training center should have been corrected by a discussion with Lewis, not a demotion."
McMillin said he was sticking to his guns on the demotion. "The decision came after an investigation. I stand by it," McMillin said.
The problem with having the parties at the training facility is that admission was charged and pocketed by his son, period.