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NAACP calls for removal of Marshall police chief after “documented injustices”

At the end of November, the Mar-Saline branch of the NAACP called for the removal of Marshall police Chief Mike Donnell after a “number of documented injustices.”

Clyde Williams, president of the branch, went before the City Council to express the concerns of more than 100 members of the local chapter, as well as other Marshall residents.

“Many people feel that I’m speaking for them, that they wanted to say something but never did, or what I said should have been said a long time ago,” he said.

Williams said his call to action was our report from November about a Saline County man who was suing Donnell, two officers in the department and the city for arresting and assaulting him without probable cause.

In his presentation to City Council, he listed this lawsuit as well as three other documented cases involving the Police Department that he said showed the police chief’s lack of oversight and competency.

Last summer, ABC17 News reported the Saline County prosecutor dropped a number of charges against a man who had been accused of pointing a gun at a police officer’s head because video evidence showed officers fabricated reports about the incident.

“My desire is to have the City Council and the city administration move forward in replacing the police chief or doing something, but to do nothing is unacceptable,” said Williams.

Williams said he wasn’t sure if the problems start and end with the chief. He said there have been issues at the department over the years, even before the current chief’s tenure.

“The city wants to move Marshall forward and I challenge them to do something,” he said. “Inaction on their part would be implying that they are part of the problem, not of the solution.”

He said he believed that there were good officers that worked for the department but the actions of the few have caused him to question the chief’s ability to lead.

ABC17 News reached out to the Marshall Police Department for comment and will update this story as soon as it responds.

City administrator David Haugland said in an email that “the city takes the concerns of Mr. Clyde Williams and other residents seriously. Unfortunately, I am not able to comment on personnel matters or pending litigation involving the city.”

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