Mississippi mayor Frank Melton has been indicted on federal civil rights violations over a crack house raid.
In August 2006, Mr. Melton and his two police bodyguards, Michael Recio and Marcus Wright, ordered the occupants out of the house at gunpoint and directed a group of youths to attack the house with sledgehammers, the indictment said. The mayor, who ran for office on an anti-crime platform, himself broke out the windows with a large stick, the indictment said.
No drugs were found in the raid. [More...]
The federal indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to deprive the duplex owner, Jennifer Sutton, and her tenant, Evans Welch, who is mentally ill, of their right to be free from unlawful search and seizure, as well as charges of official misconduct and the use of firearms in the commission of a violent crime.
Mr. Melton is known for unorthodox tactics like wearing a badge, searching cars and raiding nightclubs. He has claimed to have been a sworn law enforcement official but has never offered proof.
Melton has been teaching his unconstitutional and violent method of law enforcement to a new generation:
Over the years, Mr. Melton, whose wife lives in Texas, has taken in dozens of teenagers and young men in his gated home in Jackson and they sometimes rode on his nighttime crime-fighting forays in the mobile command unit of the Jackson Police Department. It was a group of these youths who knocked down the front wall of the duplex with sledgehammers.
Melton says he intends to seek reelection and has no intention of changing his commitment to fighting the war on drugs.
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