Criminal arrests involving marijuana offenses have been abundant in the Black community, sending men and women of color away for years. However, when a viral video of a Mississippi police chief smoking what appears to be marijuana, he was suspended with pay.
Lumberton Police Chief Shane Flynt has been suspended with pay and tried to submit a letter of resignation, yet the letter was not accepted, a city official told WDAM.
Although it remains unknown when the video was recorded, Mayor Quincy Rogers told the local news station that Flynt was sent home on Tuesday after a reported with WDAM showed Rogers a video showing the police chief smoking from a pipe.
"I'm only chief of police in Lumberton that likes to smoke weed," Flynt said while holding a pipe in the video.
Christmas music can be heard playing in the background and Flynt’s police uniform can be seen.
"I love Rudolph the red nose reindeers," Flynt said in the recording.
Rogers said Flynt will remain on suspension until the city’s board of aldermen can meet.
Before the mayor saw the video, Flynt was approached by a WDAM about the video and he said he was unaware that it existed.
Later Tuesday night, Flynt responded to the video on Facebook:
“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, coworkers, 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.”
Rogers said the city will be taking action. Flynt previously volunteered to take a drug test, but the results were not complete.
As the debate for marijuana legalization grows around the country, hopefully instances such as Flynt's will help the drug be decriminalized and eradicate Black men and women from going to prison for weed.
TRENDING IN NEWS