Sledgehammer Injustice

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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  • Display: Sort:
    Mayor didn't get the memo..... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 11:03:29 AM EST
    every drug warrior knows you're supposed to seize (aka steal)the house and any other assets and add it to the state coffers.  And when the accused or exonerated, you are supposed to fight tootha and nail to keep their stuff anyway.


    Typo in the opening sentence. (none / 0) (#2)
    by skuld1 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 11:05:17 AM EST
    Shelton should be Melton.

    What a doucheclown (none / 0) (#3)
    by SoCalLiberal on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 11:13:19 AM EST
    I hope this guy goes to prison.  Vigilante justice is no justice at all.  

    i think i have an idea (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 11:13:47 AM EST
    why his wife lives in texas. lol

    isn't it going to be sort of difficult for him to serve as mayor, while confined to a federal prison, most likely in another state?

    She lives in Texas while (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by scribe on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 11:34:35 AM EST
    he's running around nights with teenaged boys raising hell, when they're not inside his gated compound?

    Sounds kinda like, um, something like this might be going on?


    He reminds me of the crazy sheriff (none / 0) (#6)
    by Saul on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 12:25:52 PM EST
    who keeps prisoners in tents. Can't remember his name or state.  They are just over the top and have totally lost it IMO

    I know this is a minor point, but (none / 0) (#7)
    by Valhalla on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 12:31:24 PM EST
    most localities don't allow people to hold both elected office and be on the police force.

    For obvious reasons. (actually, maybe this isn't a minor point after all).  


    he already got a court to okay (none / 0) (#8)
    by english teacher on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 09:34:12 PM EST
    his police ride alongs; plus he's been known to check driver's licenses at roadblocks in downtown jackson.  

    frank melton is also the former president of wlbt television in jackson.  he was famous for giving his "that's the bottom line" on air editorials in the nineties, castigating city officials for failure to stop crime, which was rampant at the time.

    problem is, the only thing frank melton is really good at is getting attention for frank melton.  he did name the hinds county sheriff as the head of the jackson police department.  sheriff/chief malcolm mcmillan is a reasonably good guy, and that was probably a good move for melton and the city of jackson. the rest of melton's grandstanding, not so much.  

    Well (none / 0) (#9)
    by kaleidescope on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 10:51:36 AM EST
    In California, ordering someone out of their house at gunpoint -- or making them move even ten inches at gunpoint -- constitutes kidnapping, which carries a very nasty sentence.

    frank melton/sledgehammer injustice (none / 0) (#10)
    by whoops on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 01:44:26 AM EST
    I wonder about his "bottom" line with all the teenaged boys he "mentors" (cough cough) while his wife (beard?) is never seen in town at all. He's a weird one, and I don't mean that in an eccentric, endearing way. He's just plain creepy.