Pocomoke

Town that Fired 1st Black Chief Under Scrutiny for Pricey Project Amid Spike in Crime

May 14, 2017

State officials want to know what happened to $1 Million in grant money Pocomoke City used to build a restaurant, but activists say the funds should have been used to fund a recreation center and continue community policing programs

Pocomoke Remains Divided After Another Close Election

April 11, 2017

Supporters of the the town’s first black police chief who was fired in 2015 failed to win at the ballot box again, but vow to fight on by Stephen Janis and Taya Graham

Federal Judge Orders Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Pocomoke, State of MD to Move Forward

March 21, 2017

Judge Frederick Motz ruling means the case alleging government officials discriminated against the city’s first black police chief has cleared a key legal hurdle and will now enter discovery and possible depositions – by Stephen Janis and Taya Graham

Pocomoke Residents Back New Candidate to Heal Wounds Since Firing of First Black Police Chief

March 9, 2017

Community leaders are hoping Pocomoke resident Monna Van Ess can challenge city leadership whom they say has been indifferent to their concerns since Kelvin Sewell was fired amid allegations of racism – Story by Taya Graham and Stephen Janis

ACLU Says Prosecution of Pocomoke’s 1st Black Police Chief ‘Retaliatory’

December 17, 2016

The civil rights group says fired chief Kelvin Sewell’s conviction for misconduct was payback for filing a discrimination complaint after his dismissal

Why is the State of Maryland Defending Racist Practices of the Pocomoke police?

October 23, 2016

Taya Graham and Stephen Janis detail how the Department of Justice has stepped up to defend three black officers who were fired after making EEOC complaints of racial discrimination

Documents Reveal Feds Aren’t Buying Pocomoke’s Justification for Firing 1st Black Police Chief

June 5, 2016

Detailed filings obtained by TRNN show the Federal Agency determined Chief Kelvin Sewell was terminated for refusing to fire two black officers, not the reasons city officials offered during an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigation

Feds Find Probable Cause of Widespread Discrimination in Firing of Pocomoke’s First Black Police Chief

May 31, 2016

As residents recall the town’s history of racial strife, news breaks that the EEOC has sustained complaints of discrimination throughout Worcester County government

Feds Find Probable Cause Pocomoke Violated Law When it Fired 1st Black Police Chief

May 16, 2016

EEOC says the city violated the rights of Chief Kelvin Sewell and Detective Frank Savage when it fired both last year

Lawsuit Alleges Retaliation Prompted Firing of Pocomoke’s First Black Police Chief

January 26, 2016

Complaints over racial harassment inside Worcester County drug unit fueled push to fire two black officers, including chief Kelvin Sewell

Board Rules Pocomoke City Council Violated Open Meetings Act

November 1, 2015

Town in turmoil also has first homicide since 2010 when the fired black police chief took over

City Clears Art From Confederate Monument

October 31, 2015

Officials use police to remove sculpture intended to bring context to symbol of city’s racist past

Baltimore Still Debating What to Do With Confederate Statues

October 30, 2015

Testimony before commission recounts how monuments coincided with city’s efforts to segregate

Key Pocomoke Councilwoman Says City Doesn’t Speak for Her in Secret Meeting Controversy

September 1, 2015

In a letter to the compliance board, the sole black member of the council says her views were misrepresented in the city’s response to an open meetings act complaint

Pocomoke to Attorney General: Reason for Secret Meeting is Secret

August 29, 2015

The city says it cannot disclose why the council met without public notice to fire its first black chief

ACLU: Illegal Pocomoke Meeting Should Void Chief’s Firing

August 21, 2015

After a Real News investigation found the Pocomoke City council met in secret to fire the town’s first black police chief, the ACLU has filed a complaint with the Maryland Attorney General’s office

Pocomoke Councilwoman Gives Inside Story of How City’s First Black Chief was Fired

August 18, 2015

During unannounced, secret meetings with the mayor, the council’s only black member was pressured to support the dismissal of Kelvin Sewell despite what she says was lack of evidence

Passions Erupt as Officials Stonewall on Black Chief’s Firing

August 6, 2015

A Pocomoke city council meeting turns tumultuous as residents demand answers about the firing of the city’s first black police

Justice Department Details Investigation of Black Police Chief’s Firing as Community Calls for Mayor’s Resignation

July 24, 2015

Probe will include election irregularities and possible misuse of federal grants by Pocomoke city officials

Black Police Chief Makes Community Policing Work…Then Gets Fired

July 18, 2015

Despite record low crime, Lawyers for Kelvin Sewell says top cop was fired for refusing to terminate officers who filed discrimination complaints against Pocomoke City.