Yazoo City’s police chief resigns

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 1:58 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Yazoo City is, again, without a police chief.

Kenneth Hampton sent in his letter of resignation Monday, which is right around the one-year mark from when he accepted the position.

His resignation letter states, “Due to irreconcilable differences and other matters of concern between the Mayor and I, I feel it’s best we part ways.”

Ultimately, Hampton feels the mayor made false allegations against him, failed to live up to his promises, and interfered with investigations.

According to Hampton, the final straw happened about three weeks ago when he caught one of his officers throwing up gang signs on social media. Hampton says he followed department policy and suspended the officer with pay.

However, Hampton claims Mayor David Starling told him he doesn’t have the authority to suspend anyone and went on to say he regretted making Hampton chief of police. Hampton says he hasn’t stepped foot in his office since.

Mayor Starling admitted to one of those claims during Monday’s Mayor and Board of Aldermen meeting.

“I will not bite my tongue. I told Kenny Hampton several weeks ago, ‘I think the worst mistake I ever made was to reach out to you to come back and be the chief of Yazoo City,’” the mayor said.

Starling didn’t go much further than that, however. In fact, he made no mention of Hampton’s resignation during Monday’s meeting - only saying Hampton went on vacation a few weeks ago and turned in a medical excuse after that.

“What I want you all to know is our department, Yazoo City Police Department... we do not have one credible case that we presented,” he said. “No matter where Chief Hampton is today - under that guidance - it had to be thrown out. Insufficient paperwork, evidence wrong, this and that wrong. You all, is that really what we want leading our city?”

The mayor went on to use multiple, recent violent crimes as examples of why he doesn’t have confidence in the city’s police department.

“Without the assistance of MBI in the unfortunate case of the young lady who was found over on the view, that case probably would have not been solved,” Starling said. “The young man at the car wash that was gunned down - our police department handled that. An alleged killer is free today because our police department botched it.”

WLBT asked the mayor twice to do an interview prior to Monday’s meeting but never heard back from his office. We were unable to do an interview for this story by the time the meeting ended.

As for Hampton, the former Yazoo City police chief says he plans to go back to being a truck driver and is done with law enforcement for good.

It’s unclear who is leading the department in the mean time and how many officers there are to deal with what city leaders describe as a crime crisis.

This change in leadership comes just days after the city of Jackson and McComb announced new police chiefs as well.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please click here to report it and include the headline of the story in your email.