Nationwide — The entire police department of a small town in Kenly, North Carolina has reportedly resigned in an apparent protest against Justine Jones, a Black woman who was hired as the town manager two months ago.
They claim that she is creating “hostile work environment.”
Kenly Police Chief Josh Gibson took to his Facebook about his resignation, saying that the assistant town manager, a key clerk, and his 5 police officers are all quitting.
“The new manager has created an environment I do not feel we can perform our duties and services to the community,” Gibson wrote in his post.
Gibson, who has served for 21 years in the police department, said he submitted his 2-week notice to Jones herself. The other officers submitted theirs to Gibson.
“In my 21 years at the Kenly Police Department, we have seen ups and downs. But, especially in the last 3 years, we have made substantial progress that we had hoped to continue. However, due to the hostile work environment now present in the Town of Kenly, I do not believe progress is possible,” Gibson wrote in his letter of resignation, according to a copy obtained by Fox News.
Meanwhile, Kenly residents are conflicted whether or not it is a race issue as Jones is Black while the entire Kenly Police Department is White.
“I feel like they don’t want a Black woman over top of them, basically managing them or telling them what to do,” Brittney Hinnant, a Kenly resident, told CNN.
“I think there are too many jumping to conclusions, we really don’t know what is going on,” Joy Wright, another Kenly resident, said.
After a private emergency meeting, the Kenly town council released a statement saying, “The prudent course of action is to find out what happened and not make any rash decisions.”
Moreover, Jones declined to give a comment about the police resignations since this is a personnel matter.