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Mount Vernon City Council Expresses Frustration with Police Leadership; Calls for Federal Oversight

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Mount Vernon – Members of the Mount Vernon City Council held a press conference Tuesday morning backed by Black Clergy, community leaders to share their disappointed with the actions of some of Mount Vernon’s police officers. On the steps of the Mount Vernon Police Department, Councilmembers expressed they are aware that the fine men and women who serve the Mount Vernon Police Department are pressured by city leadership-inside and outside of the Police Department- to engage in unprofessional and unethical behavior. Some of the actions taken by members of service violate the Oath of Office they were sworn to uphold.

The alleged assault of Councilman Wallace by the mayor’s older brother Steven ‘Butch’ Thomas, the actions of the police officer assigned to the Mayor’s detail and the inaction of the MVPD to properly investigate the incident fueled the presser.

Councilman Wallace demanded federal oversight after an altercation with Mayor Richard Thomas’ brother ‘Butch’ at Maggie Spillane’s – a local bar. Wallace says the police did nothing to help him.

“The mayor was standing 15 feet away. He said not one word and did nothing. When I called 911 to get help because he refused to do anything, they ran,” says Councilman Andre Wallace. “Picture that, the police running away from the police, this is what you have to deal with in the City of Mount Vernon.”

Mayor Richard W. Thomas who came from inside City Hall and walked across the street to crash the presser says the argument between Councilman Wallace and his brother Butch was sparked by the councilman spitting in Butch’s face first.

“When you walk into a bar, something may happen. It appears that some amnesia was happening because the police wanted to arrest the councilman, they flagged you as the aggressor,” says Mayor Richard Thomas.

Another request from the council, clergy, and community was for the mayor to select a new and permanent police commissioner to the department. The mayor responded both salaries for the police commissioner and 20 patrol officers were eliminated from the budget by the city council.

At the conclusion of the relatively peaceful press conference, the camera quickly moved over to the mayor to get his side of the story, utter chaos erupted on the steps of the MVPD as some residents chanted for oversight of the police department and heckled the mayor saying he must go.

You can see the entire press conference in the two videos below

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