Community continues to press for answers about firing of 2 Senatobia officers

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SENATOBIA, Miss. — Two weeks after the sudden firing of two Senatobia police officers, officers and members of the public are continuing to push for answers.

Assistant Police Chief Robert Brownlee and D.A.R.E. officer Arthur Avant were fired during a closed session at a Board of Aldermen meeting on Dec. 19.

No reason was ever given to the public.

"You need to be transparent with your allegations," Senatobia resident Patrick Alexander said.

Alexander was among the dozens of people who packed Tuesday evening's meeting seeking answers about the terminations.

"I think the absence of information, conjecture kind of grows," Sgt. Billy Burrow said.

"This is your career and it's taken away from you just in one night for no reason?" Carolyn Burnett, Avant's sister said.

Both fired officers were reportedly the subject of allegations laid out in anonymous letters that were sent to each of the aldermen prior to last month's meeting.

Tuesday, Mayor Alan Callicott announced his intention to veto the board's decision to fire the officers, but the board quickly overrode the veto.

However, because of the rules, neither the veto nor the board's override can take effect until Friday.

"I don't base my decision based on any anonymous letter. We have information we discussed in executive session. It was of a personnel nature, that's why I can't sit here and tell you why," Alderman Brian Hale said.

Although she's heard rumors about why her brother was fired, Burnett refuses to believe them.

She wants her brother to get his badge back so he can continue making the difference she says he has always made as an officer.

"He loves children. Children run and flock to him. They hug him. They want to see Officer Avant," Burnett said.

The Board of Aldermen will reconvene Friday at 5 p.m. to consider the mayor's veto.

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