Awards given to PB officers for shooting death of 107-year-old still not returned
PINE BLUFF —
Medal of valor awards have still not been returned to the City of Pine Bluff, despite city council passing a resolution three weeks ago.
It is still unknown just how many medals were handed out, KATV has requested this information multiple times, including on Monday. Mayor Debe Hollingsworth said she wasn't at the ceremony so she does not know, however, she did confirm that the police department is now seeking legal counsel to weigh out the officers' options. Hollingsworth added that the legal counsel is being provided by the Fraternal Order of Police, and it’s not costing taxpayers.
"It's a tough decision to make, and they do, and I think that it's only just if they understand what their options are, as what they should do or should not do and it's up to them,” said Mayor Debe Hollingsworth.
Councilwoman Thelma Walker tells KATV she’s frustrated that the officers haven’t returned the medals, and is disappointed with Hollingsworth because she is not enforcing the resolution that was passed unanimously.
"I don't understand the rationale, I don't understand why anyone would want a medal, who can you show it to? Oh, I have a medal of valor, well were you in the war? No, I killed a 107-year-old man...you know...who would want that?” she asked.
"We need to understand that a resolution is an intent, a statement of intent, it's not a law,” said Hollingsworth; adding that legally she cannot make them return the medals to the city.
"It just doesn't make sense, it's about being responsible to this city, it doesn't matter if she's on her way out, you're leaving a legacy for this city, I don't know...maybe she figures she won't be here she don't care, but I’m going to be here," added Walker.
The resolution did not include a deadline for the medals to be returned, but KATV will continue to follow this story.