Reed Resignation Topic of Community Hearing

A crowd of several hundred attended a community hearing about the resignation of James Reed as Meridian's police chief.

The Coalition of Community Leaders organized the meeting at Mt.Olive Missionary Baptist Church. The group says it wants answers from the city administration about why Reed stepped down recently.

Reed said he resigned for personal reasons but declined to elaborate. He did not attend the meeting Monday.

Many of those in attendance Monday night said they don't believe that's the reason Reed suddenly resigned his job. Instead, they say there is a culture of insubordination in the city's police department.

There were lots of questions posed but not many answers. One elected city official was present, Ward 4 Councilman Jesse Palmer.

The Rev. William Brown of the coalition says the meeting was a good start.

"I think that we came together as a community, said Brown. "That everybody understands that James Reed's resignation had nothing to do about certification. And something has to be done about the culture that exists there in the Meridian Police Department."

The members took down questions from those attending and said they will present them to Meridian mayor, Cheri Barry.