Along with a few of his police bodyguards Mayor Frank Melton of Jackson, Mississippi has been indicted on Federal civil rights violations. It seems that in his zeal to curb drug crime, Melton forced some local youngsters at gunpoint to take a sledgehammer to a private residence that Melton claimed was a drug house.
One little problem, Melton had no court order and no right to destroy a private residence. Yet he and his rogue police bodyguards illegally entered this private residence and wrecked the place anyway.
The federal indictment alleges that on Aug. 26, 2006, the defendants invited several young men into the police department's mobile command unit. The group drove to a home on Ridgeway Street, where Wright allegedly ordered the occupants outside at gunpoint.
"Thereafter, Mayor Melton allegedly knocked out several windows of the home with a large stick and ordered the young men accompanying him to destroy the home using sledgehammers while Wright and Recio stood guard," the Justice Department statement said.
They call Melton's style of crime fighting "unorthodox" as he cruises the streets in a special "mobile command center" and he carries guns around like he was himself a police man. Naturally, his unconcern over private property rights, his kidnapping of these "several young men" and his storm trooper tactics are causing him a spot of trouble these days.
OK, OK, its all rather interesting. The stories have all sorts of details about this odd little incident. Well, all but the fact that Melton is a Democrat. It seems that this little factoid was "not germane" to the story as far as the Associated Press is concerned. (And neither was it pertinent in their short treatment of the story, apparently.) PRNewswire didn't mention the party, either. Unsurprisingly, local TV station WJTV of Jackson missed it and so did WLBT. The Clarion Ledger never mention it either, but then they are the local paper and it would be assumed that their readers are already informed of the party of their own mayor.
Mayor Jackson has been jailed for his antics before (hence the mug shot that accompanies this story), so it is no surprise that he is in Dutch with the law again. The larger question is why people continue to vote for this man?
One can only imagine how the AP, for one, would be crowing the party of this mayor should he have been a Republican. It would be "Gun Slinging Republican Mayor Indicted," for sure.
Anyway, this story may go larger today so let's see how many news outlets remember that Mayor Melton does, indeed, belong to a political party and that his party is Democrat?
(Image credit: the Jackson Free Press)