Attorney: Pocomoke Chief Sewell Ousted for Not Firing Two Black - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Attorney: Pocomoke Chief Sewell Ousted for Not Firing Two Black Officers


POCOMOKE CITY, Md. -- The Pocomoke City community is looking for answers after Police Chief Kelvin Sewell was let go from the department.

In a statement made to WBOC, former chief Sewell and his attorney Andrew McBride said Sewell was let go because he would not fire two black officers on his staff.  They claim his firing was retaliation for not firing officer Franklin Savage and Lieutenant Lynell Green.  Sewell says Savage was then demoted from detective to officer, but Green retained his position as lieutenant. Sewell says the mayor and city council voted to terminate his position Monday night during a closed session meeting. 

Pocomoke Mayor Bruce Morrison would not specify a reason for Sewell's departure but did say it is a personnel matter.

Rev. Ronnie White of Pocomoke's House of Love church says the meeting should not have happened without the public's knowledge.

"None of the citizens were informed. We never knew that this was going to happen. It was just like we were left out of the loop," said White.

The community says it's not backing down from finding out the truth behind Sewell's termination.

Several community leaders including Rev. White and Rev. James Jones held a town meeting Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at New Macedonia Baptist Church. There, the community discussed the next steps toward finding answers for Sewell's termination. White said a petition was started to demand Sewell's reinstatement with the department.

"The next meeting at city hall, we're going to approach the mayor and the city council with these petitions and we're demanding that our chief be reinstated to his position," said White after the meeting.

Sewell attended the Thursday night meeting and spoke to WBOC. He says he was surprised by the amount of support shown by the community.

"It really touched me. I didn't know how many people I touched in in this city," said Sewell.  "Just by working every single day and the number of hours I worked and doing a lot for the people. I forgot some of the things I've done and it all came back in that church tonight. And to see so many people come just to support me really touched me."

Following the meeting, Rev. Jones said much of the community is ready to take a stand against the city in order to continue seeing the streets of Pocomoke crime-free.

"The people now know that we care enough about Chief Kelvin D. Sewell that we're ready to stand to make a difference in what's going on in our community with our political structure," the reverand said.

Jones says the work Sewell has done for the city since he took office in 2010 is proof he is still needed in Pocomoke.

"I've done my homework as late as today. Over the last 20 years, we are at an all time low in crime, drug activity," said Jones. "I mean it still happens, but it's almost nonexistent compared to the way it's been in the past."

Some locals including Eremine Beckwith say she's fearful of what Pocomoke might become without someone like Sewell leading by example.

"I'm fearing that we're going to end up being like down south. As far as police brutality, as far as the young black men. I fear for their life. [Sewell] has been keeping the town peaceful," said Beckwith.

Mayor Morrison says the interim police chief is Lt. Brian Craven who has about 15 years of experience. 

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