Jefferson PD Chief Resigns Amid Onslaught of Complaints

Published: June 22, 2020, 10:52 p.m. CDT

James Wilson
James Wiliams, a 2002 Jefferson High School graduate, tells the council that his confidence in JPD has been damaged by Carroll’s actions.

Jimplecute News Editor

JEFFERSON – Jefferson Police Chief Jason Carroll has resigned.

The resignation occurred during a called city council meeting Monday that included eight members of the public speaking about Carroll. 

“He [Carroll] is going to resign to help the community heal,” Mayor pro tem Victor Perot announced after a 41-minute executive session.

“We [the council] are here to help the community in every which way we can,” Perot said. “We are supportive of Black Lives Matter and supportive of healing this community.”

Carroll was named acting chief on the retirement of Chief Gary Amburn on Dec. 31, 2019. He was confirmed as chief on March 3. The council at the time passed over 12 other applications without interviews.

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Applicants included a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with a B.S. in Administration of Justice and  experience as a Houston PD police officer with experience as a dignitary protection officer, narcotics investigator, burglary and theft investigator. 

Another applicant was a Fort Worth PD lieutenant assigned as the commander of the forensics and economic crimes section.

One applicant was a patrol watch commander with the Grand Prairie PD.

Council audience
Social distancing because of the COVID-19 pandemic spread out the audience at Monday’s city council meeting.

Another Tarrant County officer described herself as a “seasoned administrative & law enforcement professional.

An Italy officer described himself as a former police chief there.

In March, Perot said Carroll, a former JPD investigator, was chosen because of his institutional knowledge of the city.

“Pretty much from the get go, everybody was in favor of Jason,” Perot told the Jimp in March. “It was the choice that a majority of the council wanted to make.

“We want to give him that opportunity,” Perot added.

The crisis hinged on what many perceived as a disrespectful social media post by Carroll aimed at the Black Lives protest march in Jefferson June 13. 

Ricky Harrington, one of the Black Lives Matter protest organizers voiced satisfaction after the meeting.

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“I don’t take solace in his resignation, but probably it is the best thing to do to start mending the community’s relationship with the police department,” Harrington said after the meeting.

Council person Tyrani Braddock stepped to the podium to express her views.

“This was your time to shine and keep the  peace,” Braddock told Carroll, “but you brought battle to our doorstep instead.”

Braddock admonished Carroll that social media was no longer a personal expression venue once he accepted the police chief post.

Other speakers included Stephanie Jackson, Hamid Habibelahian, Carrie Schwartz, James Williams, Shyger Williams, and Pamela Jones.

Jackson complained that Carroll failed to investigate a complaint she made against a man who pulled a gun on her in December.

Schwartz detailed the Confederate war aim of preserving slavery of members of black races and how African Americans today had every right to be offended by images glorifying their oppressors.

James Williams told the council that while his life experiences like Jefferson police saving his mother from an abusive husband taught him to trust officers, actions by Carroll made him question that trust.

Shyger Williams declared that Carroll “broke the trust” Jeffersonians had placed in him.

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Habibelahian recalled the multiple times when Carroll went beyond the call of duty for him and called on the council to help unite the community and help “make Jefferson great again.” 

Jones said the portrait of other speakers of Carroll was not the Jason Carroll she knew and called her son.

Carroll told the Jimp Wednesday that his post was not aimed at the marchers or the Black Lives Matter protesters, but at people “whining about fake news” and griping politicians.

“That post had nothing to do with racism,” Carroll said. “It had nothing to do with the marches and the monument at all.”

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