MS police chief suspended after video showing alleged marijuana use surfaces
LUMBERTON, MS (WDAM) - Lumberton Police Chief Shane Flynt has been suspended with pay, according to Mayor Quincy Rogers.
The mayor said Flynt was sent home Tuesday after WDAM showed Rogers a video showing the police chief smoking what he implies to be marijuana.
Rogers said Flynt will remain on suspension until the city's board of aldermen can meet. Rogers said he tried to call a special meeting to address the issue, but could not get board members to meet.
The board's next scheduled meeting is March 6.
Before taking the video to the mayor Tuesday, we confronted Flynt. At the time, he said he was not aware of the video and had no comment.
Later Tuesday night, Flynt responded to the video on Facebook, saying there was no excuse for his actions:
Please know that one video , one mistake , does not define the person I am., my moral or ethical values . I made a huge mistake , first of all , I trusted the wrong person , welcomed them in my personal home , they recorded me in a vulnerable state and they planned every minute of it . This person being my wife who is obviously very vindictive. I love serving the town of Lumberton , the people there are like family to me. It saddens my heart that I've disappointed many as well as myself .
Just a thought .. Where would we all be if we all had hidden cameras in our home ? What would our neighbors , preachers , co workers , friends , etc. think of our conversations ? There is no excuse . I pray you all find it in your hearts to show me grace and know that I am truly sorry for this incident .
On Monday, Feb. 19, it was reported that Flynt submitted his resignation as police chief. According to a city official, Flynt was suspended and submitted his resignation, though the resignation was not accepted.
Rogers would not comment on the issue at the time. The Lumberton Police Department also declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter.
Now, with the video we've obtained, city leaders are talking.
"I'm only chief of police in Lumberton that likes to smoke weed," Flynt said while holding a pipe, the video shows.
While we don't know when the video was recorded, at times, Christmas music can be heard in the background.
"I love Rudolph the red nose reindeers," Flynt said in the recording.
Also in the background, you can see what appears to be Flynt's chief uniform. Using vulgar language and a broken pipe, he laughs about being the chief of police and being high.
"If this ain't no cool (expletive)," Flynt said in the video. "Who the coolest here? Me! I'm the coolest here."
Rogers said he heard about a video of Flynt and was told the board of aldermen had it, but they never showed it to him. Rogers said he did ask to see it, but that never happened, until WDAM brought it to him.
"That's quite disturbing," Rogers said. "I'm still trying to get over this video."
Flynt was voted in as chief back in September by the board of alderman, according to board minutes. In mid-February, he was suspended for what city leaders and the mayor would only say was a personnel matter, remaining silent when we started asking questions.
That suspension didn't last long, when a unanimous vote from the board on Feb. 22, put Flynt back on the job.
"As superintendent of this city, I felt that I should have seen this," Rogers said. "I'm very hurt."
We reached out to every board member, but only one, Jonathan Griffith, called us back and agreed to talk. He said he never saw the video and wasn't aware of any board member having seen it either.
"Everyone in life makes mistakes," Griffith said. "And, so, it is our intent to make sure we investigate this matter properly."
Griffith questioned the video and why it was released, saying everyone deserves a second chance.
"I currently support the police chief, yes I do," Griffith said when asked if he'd support the chief remaining in his current position.
Rogers said the city will be taking action, but wasn't clear on exactly what that would be. We were told that Flynt previously volunteered to take a drug test, but the results were not complete.