Jonesville police chief asked to resign after online remarks

Published 12:25 am Wednesday, July 20, 2016

JONESVILLE — The Jonesville Town Council asked Tuesday for the resignation of the town’s police chief following public outcry about comments the chief made online about recent violence against police officers.

Police Chief Skylar Doré, who is white, recently posted on his personal Facebook page a profanity-laced rant with what residents called racially charged remarks about recent violence against police officers.

Doré’s remarks came after the recent killings of eight police officers — three in Baton Rouge and five in Dallas — following two recent, highly publicized shootings of black men by police officers in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.

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In his post, Doré directed his remarks to President Barack Obama, and said, “Hey Mr. (expletive) president when are you going to grow a (expletive) pair. And tell it like it is. These are terrorist. That have declared (expletive) war on my brother. (White police officers) enough is enough. How many police officers have to die trying to protect the citizens of this country. Any other president would have declared full on war on this group. Since when in our (expletive) history do we stand idle to the ambush murders of law enforcement. It has to STOP NOW!!!!!”

Jonesville resident Sharon Stevenson voiced her concerns about Doré’s comments at Tuesday’s town council meeting.

After the meeting, Stevenson said while residents may say Doré is a racist, she does not know him well enough to draw that conclusion. It is beside the point, anyway, Stevenson said.

“My main concern is with everything going on right now, the whole country is hostile, if you are chief of police, why would you want to say something like that?” Stevenson sad. “If he had been just a white American wanting to rant and rave … everybody has their own opinion … but my thought is that when you’re in certain positions, you have to present yourself in a certain way.”

In a time when race seems to be dividing the country, Stevenson said, officials should be tempering their words and encouraging unity.

“I don’t care what he thinks about the president, and I’m sure the president doesn’t care either,” she said. “Our country is in trouble, and we need to be praying. I was hurting, too, when I saw (the news of the Baton Rouge officers killed). I had tears in my eyes.

“But our town is too small, we don’t need to hear (comments) like that. I can hear things and let them roll off my back, but the younger (residents), they may not be able to, and me, I don’t feel safe with (Doré) being chief and making those kinds of remarks.”

Jonesville Councilwoman Loria Hollins said she first learned of Doré’s comments after receiving multiple calls and messages from residents.

“The Town of Jonesville is predominantly black, and I think people were thinking, ‘What about us?’” Hollins said.

Doré apologized for his comments and said they came out of frustration after the Baton Rouge shooting, Hollins said. Doré told residents at the meeting he knew Baton Rouge police officers personally, Hollins said.

“(As a) Christian, I forgive him,” Hollins said. “We all say things in the heat of the moment. We all say things we can’t take back, and this is just one of those things you can’t take back that has affected people in a lot of ways.

“He said he just got frustrated, and that’s understandable … they put their life on the line every day so I can see the frustration … but what would you do with your frustration if something like that happened in Jonesville?”

Hollins said the council unanimously voted to have Doré submit his resignation or be immediately relieved of his duties.

At the meeting, part of the town’s employee handbook and its code of ethics was read aloud by Mayor Hiram Evans, after which Hollins made the motion for Doré’s resignation.

Hollins said Assistant Police Chief Marcelus Cummings would lead the department until the town can hire another chief.

Calls for comment to Doré Tuesday were not returned.