Aldermen say no action needed in Flight 411 matter

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 20, 2018

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Poplarville Board of Aldermen issued a statement regarding the Flight 411 issue after returning from an executive session.

The statement read, “Upon further investigation and due deliberation, it has been determined that no member of the Poplarville Police Department including, but not limited to, Chief Butch Raby, Officer Bruce Eades, and Officer Joe Bowman, engaged in any course of conduct or activity on August 18 and 19, 2017 during the Friday Night Lights After Game Party at the (Pearl River County) Fairgrounds that warrants discipline. The City of Poplarville is diverse in population and culture and remains committed to promoting harmony, tolerance and understanding.”

The statement was issued after months of probing into complaints lodged by representatives of Flight 411, an entertainment group that held the concert in question, that the concert they were holding was prematurely closed by Poplarville Police officers Bruce Eades and Joe Bowman on August 18, 2017, allegedly under the direction of Raby.

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Mayor Rossie Creel said the Board’s conclusion is the result of a lengthy investigation. He declined to comment on the matter further.

City Attorney Colette Oldmixon also refused to comment on the issue.

When contacted by the Item for comments regarding the Board’s decision, Darrick Williams, co-owner of Flight 411, also declined to comment.

In separate matters Donald Van De Werken spoke to the Board about the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Program concerning the use of bicycles on public roads. He proposed the Board form a bicycle master plan for the city of Poplarville to construct a bike trail between Pearl River Community College and downtown Poplarville. The Board did not take any action on the request but decided to refer the matter to the Poplarville Planning Commission for its evaluation and input.

– The Board approved travel for Donald D’Antonio to attend the Fire Service Instructor course from April 23 until May 3 to be held at the Mississippi State Fire Academy.

– The Board also approved travel for Fire Chief Jonathan Head to attend the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Refresher Course from Jan. 23-25 at Georgia Pacific’s Leaf River Cellulose Facility, in New Augusta.

– Approved the police department’s request to purchase ten Motorola APX-1000 7/800 MHZ portable MSWIN radios at a total cost of $15,950.

The next Board meeting will be Feb. 6, at 5 p.m.