OXFORD, Miss. — Oxford's Board of Aldermen officially accepted the resignations of two police officers during a packed house meeting Tuesday evening, but an attorney for Dominique Clayton's family is claiming the resignations were not voluntary.
Carlos Moore says Officer Collins Bryant and Officer Ryan Winters were given an ultimatum to either "resign or be fired." Moore says both officers submitted their resignation letters on May 23, but Oxford city officials refused to confirm this last week.
Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill confirmed the officers’ names following Tuesday’s meeting, but said she was unable to say when they resigned, why they resigned, or whether they were coerced into doing so.
“By Mississippi law I’m unable to comment on that, Tannehill said.
“We understand that that’s some frustration involved in what we can and can’t say,” said Oxford Interim Police Chief Jeff McCutchen.
WREG attempted to reach both officers for comment ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, but was unsuccessful.
The resignations come on the heels of Clayton’s murder May 19. Matthew Kinne, who was an Oxford police officer at the time, is charged with her murder following an alleged affair.
“We don’t believe these individuals resigned because they had anything to do with the actual murder of Ms. Clayton, but there were some improprieties,” said Moore.
Moore wouldn’t get specific about what these alleged “improprieties” were, but hinted that at least one of the now-former officers might have known about Kinne’s relationship with Clayton.
“They were doing things on the clock that they should not have been doing. They were allowing things to go on,” Moore said.
Last week, WREG reported on how the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation was investigating Clayton’s murder while the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office was investigating the Oxford Police Department.
Neither the mayor nor McCutchen would go into detail about the investigation.
“The one thing that we are careful to do here is not to comment on anything that, by law, we cannot speak to,” said Tannehill.
At Tuesday’s meeting, aldermen also approved hiring two new police officers.
Moore said he hasn’t decided whether or not to file a lawsuit against the city.