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Brownsville Police Show Support For Chief

By Erica Williams
By ewilliams@wbbjtv.com

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn- A local police chief has found himself in the middle of controversy after a photo surfaced of him holding what some residents considered, a racist sign. Now some supporters are speaking out in his defense.

A few Brownsville Police officers, mostly African American, held signs in front of the courthouse to show their support for Chief Chris Lea, who they said is not racist.

On Wednesday, a photo circulated of the police chief holding a piece of paper with the words, "Whites Only" written on it. Hours later, Lea responded on his personal Facebook page, saying he found the piece of paper on the floor and that the photo was taken three years ago. His supporters said it was all a misunderstanding.

"There is no division amongst us as a family in the Brownsville Police Department," said Officer Randy Taylor.

"Those who think negative about Chief Lea, they don't know him," Taylor added.

Brownsville Mayor Jo Matherne said she and Chief Lea spoke about the photo. She said she was satisfied with their meeting and does not believe there was any malicious intent behind it. She also said that she and the city of Brownsville consider the matter closed.

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