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City responds after Cory Bigsby's attorney files cease and desist against Hampton officials

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Posted at 3:53 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 06:32:42-04

HAMPTON, Va. - The City of Hampton has officially responded to Cory Bigsby, father of missing 4-year-old Codi Bigsby, and his attorney filing a cease and desist against Hampton officials in April.

Codi was reported missing on the morning of January 31. Police and community members have searched for the boy, to no avail. During the search for Codi, Hampton Police jailed the father on child neglect charges unrelated to his son’s disappearance. At the end of this story is a timeline of events leading up to and following Bigsby's arrest.

Related: 100 days since 4-year-old Codi Bigsby reported missing

Cory Bigsby's attorney, Amina Matheny-Willard, filed the order on April 30.

News 3 was sent the cease and desist from the attorney.

The cease and desist requested that:

  • The Chief publicly retract his statements
  • Cease and desist from making a public comment that could obstruct justice or tamper with a future jury pool
  • Ask the community not to Harass / Threaten the Bigsby Family; and
  • Issue a public apology to the Bigsby family for making statements that put their lives in danger

Now, the City of Hampton's attorney, Cheran Cordell Ivery, has responded on behalf of Mayor Donnie Tuck and Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot.

In response to requests made in the cease and desist, the City has made the following responses:

  1. They say Chief Talbot will not retract any of his statements about the disappearance of Codi Bigsby and the police's ongoing investigation into his whereabouts;
  2. The city states that no statements made by Chief Talbot have obstructed justice or tampered with a potential jury pool.
  3. According to the letter, the City does not endorse or condone harassment or threats made against anyone. They say if this occurs, then it should be reported to law enforcement immediately.
  4. Lastly, the City denies that Chief Talbot made statements that put anyone's life in danger.

In response to the attorney's claims that the police department did not seek to initiate an AMBER Alert, City of Hampton says that is not true. They state in the letter that State Police have criteria of when to issue an alert. The city says they made a request for one, but State Police denied it for not meeting every criterion.

To close their response letter, the attorney writes that the City of Hampton and Hampton Police efforts "remain focused on finding Codi Bigsby and will continue in this regard until such time as he is located."

To read the city's full letter, click here.

Matheny-Willard, Bigsby’s attorney, provided us with a copy of her response to the city attorney’s letter. The defense disagrees with the city’s response on all points.

I am in recent of your correspondence dated May 4, 2022.

I will address your responses in order:

1. Chief Talbot’s statements did not amount to “updates” to the public. Chief Talbot’s statements were false and accusatory in nature. Some members of the community reacted in a way that any reasonable person, especially the Chief “Public Safety” Officer, would expect them to react – by attacking Codi Bigsby’s family. (Did you view the video I submitted?);

2. Since You Provided a 2-Part Response, I Will Provide a 2-Part Reply:

a. The false and accusatory statements made by Chief Talbot absolutely had an impact on some Hampton, Virginia community members (as you witnessed in the video). These community members are indeed the jury pool!

b. Chief Talbot has NOT “at all times sought to find Codi” – in fact, he stifled search efforts by limiting the number of people he asked to participate in the search, did not timely follow-up on tips from the community and “closed-up shop” after 5-days. Kindly provide me with proof of the official request you stated HPD made to the Virginia State Police along with their alleged denial.

3. Since You Provided a 2-Part Response, I Will Provide a 2-Part Reply:

a. The City’s defense of Chief Mark Talbot, in this letter, demonstrates that the City does, indeed, condone harassment and/or threats – or at least behavior / statements that provoke harassment and threats from others.

b. Your request that the Codi Bigsby family contact law enforcement immediately, if they are being harassed, quite frankly is an insult! Additionally, the fact that you have not offered any alternative to the family, other than report the attacks to the agency that provoked it, demonstrates your lack of concern and the Mayor’s lack of concern for his constituents. (We have asked that Attorney General to get involved, that is a more logical course of action in light of the circumstances).

4. Wow!

I look forward to receiving a copy of the alleged request for the Amber Alert, along with all of the supplemental information HPD provided to the Virginia State Police pertaining to their alleged request, and the alleged denial by the Virginia State Police.