Protest In Cumberland After One Officer Fired & Another Demoted

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

There are protests after Cumberland's mayor fired one police officer and demoted two others.

Cumberland Mayor Loretta Cornett did not want to talk on camera, but did confirm that she fired Officer Mike Franks and demoted the city's Police Chief Derrick Akal to Sergeant and demoted Sergeant Anthony Jenkins to a Patrolman. She said she could not discuss more because it's personnel matters but did say that she's upset over many break-ins and vandalism in the city recently.

The changes in the police department sparked protests outside the Cumberland City Hall Friday night. Several people held up signs and cars honked as they drove by. One of those protesting, Mike Franks the officer fired. He says the mayor expressed disappointment in the police force. He feels his firing was unjustified.

"We wasn't doing enough police work and enough patrols. As of why she chose to terminate me, I have no idea," he said.

Two Cumberland councilwomen showed up at the protest Friday night and they say their initial reaction is that this wasn't justified but they say if it was, they would like to know why these actions were taken before the changes were made. Mayor Cornett says she'll be talking with the council members.

As for the officer fired, he says because of a hiring/firing freeze in the city. He doesn't think the mayor has the power to fire him so in less than an hour, she says he'll begin his shift at midnight and will be patrolling the streets of Cumberland.

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