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Terminate Michael Yates as Jonesboro Police Chief

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Jonesboro Police Chief, Michael Yates, has been suspended for 30 days by Mayor Harold Perrin for his repetitive, improper harassment and defamation of Ms. Sunshine Crump, a local reporter for the Jonesboro Sun, who has since resigned due to this harassment.

On multiple occasions, he has referenced Ms. Crump in posts to his Facebook:

  •  “Wonder if ole Sunshine (reporter) could pass a drug test,” Yates wrote on one post. “Why yes, she has been arrested before.”
  •  “Pro-dope smoking, law license revoked, left wing liberal, smelly, arrested by police, unscrupulous reporter.”
  • “This is the kind of journalism we have now ... ask ole Sunshine (reporter) why her law license got suspended next time you see her.”
  • “Reminds me of a song ... ‘ain’t no Sunshine when she’s gone’ etc.”
  • “Dealing with ole Sunshine is like trying to pick up a dog turd by the ‘clean end.’”

To set some facts straight, Ms. Crump's law license was not "revoked." She chose to no longer practice law. She stopped paying Texas bar dues and allowed her license to go into suspension. She has no criminal record, excepting one minor charge that was later dismissed for participating in a protest while in college.

Yates's conduct is absolutely unacceptable. As our city's Police Chief, he is responsible for protecting our city's citizens and maintaining peace, not harassing innocent civilians and inciting conflict. He has cited that he was only exercising his freedom of speech, but one person's freedom of speech does not allow harassment and cannot inhibit another person's right to his or her reputation. If the Jonesboro City Government does not immediately terminate Chief Yates, this will send a clear message to its citizens that repeated, malicious slander is a minor offense, thereby potentionally perpetuating further conflict and abuse.

This is not the first time Yates has been accused of corrupt and incompetent misconduct. He resigned from his previous position as Police Chief in Americus, Georgia. In retaliation, while he was being investigated for civil rights abuses against citizens, he performed an illegal, unwarranted background check on Craig Walker, one of the major figures in the investigation. This abuse of power resulted in his resignation. 

There is also suspicion surrounding Chief Yates's handling of the case involving Chavis Carter, a 21-year-old Jonesboro resident who allegedly shot himself in the head while in police custody. 

Please join us as deeply concerned citizens and urge Mayor Harold Perrin and the Jonesboro City Government to terminate Michael Yates from his current position of Jonesboro Police Chief. 

Please address letters of concern to Mayor Harold Perrin, 300 S. Church St. Jonesboro, AR 72401.

The Mayor's office can also be reached by phone at (870) 932-1052 and by email at hperrin@jonesboro.org.



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