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Related Categories: U.S. | Racial Justice
Police Chief in Tarasha Benjamin's missing person case resigns
by Walter Scott
Wednesday Aug 26th, 2015 10:31 AM
" Deputy Watkins received a pass from this police department, point blank simple". Says Activists Lawyer Henderson.
(NATIONAL) Selma, Al Police Chief William T Riley has resigned, according to the Selma Times Journal newspaper. Riley handed over his resignation to Mayor George Evans in July, accepting a new job in Inkster, Michigan, a city that is a little bigger than Selma and is right outside of Detroit.
Riley was the police chief in Selma at the time that 17 year old Tarasha Benjamin vanished. Some families’ members and supporters accused Riley’s department of not acting quickly in her disappearance and maintain the belief that he {Riley} should have brought the feds in to her case.
Under Chief Riley, the Selma police department was accuse of being “Incompetent” and “Corrupted” at the same time. And that the department did not show fairness between black police officers versus white officers.
For instance, the police department had arrested Officer Christopher Harris a black officer who was charged for raping a 12 year old girl, in which if he did the crime, he should do the time. However, former Selma Police officer Bart Watkins, A white police officer, who visit Benjamin months after her disappearance was never question and was allow to seek new employment in law enforcement with the Morengo County Sheriff’s department in Alabama.
“Deputy Watkins received a pass from this police department, point blank simple”. Says Activist Lawyer Henderson.
The Selma City Council has also questioned Riley’s work, in 2013, Councilman Greg Bjelke told Mayor George Evans that he don’t believe that the citizens of Selma is getting their money’s worth.
Riley’s Department was recently under scrutiny, local Civil rights Activists Faya Rose Toure accused the police of shooting 74 year old Ananias Shaw who was waving an “axe”. Toure insists Riley release video of the incident which as sparked her and others to protest the shooting that made national headlines.
CNN and MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry would later interview Riley on Shaw’s case and discussed “policing in general” which has became a national debate after the police shootings of Trayvon martin of Sanford, Florida and Mike Brown of Ferguson, Missouri.
Chief Riley has defended his Record, arguing that crime in his city had gone down 20 percent since he took office in 2008. Adding that the only thing he regret was not getting better pay for his officers.
“ Here is a police chief, that is more concerned about getting increase pay for corrupt cops rather than policing fairly, impartially and making sure that his officers follow the law like everyone else”. Henderson added.
For the Benjamin’s family, a new police chief and mayor may be the greatest gift because not all police chiefs and mayors governs the same. One of them may look deep into Tarasha’s case and asked for the help they need in finding out what really happen to the missing teen.
For five years to date, Selma resident Regina Benjamin said she has not seen or heard from her daughter.
[Tarasha}Benjamin left her Alabama home on June 26, 2010 headed to the local flea market with her friend Telisha Gihvan. Authorities claim Gihvan and Benjamin’s boyfriend Ellis “waun” Walters were both detain and question, but later released.
The family hopes now that the new police chief will be more aggressive in Benjamin’s missing person case.

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