It's Melton Time: What's Next for Jackson? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

It's Melton Time: What's Next for Jackson?

On July 4, Mayor-elect Frank Melton will officially move into the mayor's office of Jackson. Word on the street says he has big changes planned for the city, changes many supporters say are long in coming.

Members of Melton's transition team have been meeting with members of outgoing Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.'s administration, in an effort to figure out the current administration's numbers and hammer out some possible improvements.

Some mayoral transitions can take many months before thoroughly settling into a smooth seat at the helm, however. As late as last week, members of the team were admitting that meetings were too few and too preliminary to offer any future administrative changes without sounding premature. But some details, if a bit sketchy, are starting to emerge.

Crime Strategy: 'A Wait-and-See Thing'

Peyton Prospere, chairman of the transition team, says it is too early to make accurate predictions about the alterations on the way and left requests for details to Mayor-elect Frank Melton, who did not return several calls to the Jackson Free Press for this story.

Transition chairpersons, like Jackson State University criminology instructor Jimmy Bell, who oversees the Police Department Executive Committee, confess that they have no information on objectives this early.

"We've just had one meeting (on June 22) in terms of meeting with the chief and his executive staff, and we received some data, but we haven't even had the opportunity to analyze the data. Basically, I do know that Melton's focus on crime is linked closely to community engagement," said Bell, a staunch opponent of traditional zero-tolerance policing and a proponent of community policing. "He plans to realistically engage the community in problem-solving equations. I really don't know if he's going to open the COMSTAT meetings to the public, but I do know that everything is open for discussion. I think he's basically pushing for shared governance. That's his style."

Portions of Melton's community engagement policy, according to some of his recent statements to Clarion-Ledger reporters, may involve crime sweeps in certain parts of the city, with Melton saying he'll have a "rapid response team" backed up by the SWAT team to go "door to door, making sure everything is alright and nothing is suspicious." He also told reporters that "there will be military aircraft involved."

Matthew Steffey, a professor at the Mississippi School of Law, said Melton's use of military aircraft would be difficult in some ways, impossible in others.

"There are federal laws that limit the role of the military in law enforcement," Steffey said. "If he's talking about the Army, Navy or Marines, that's unlikely. If he's talking about the National Guard, I don't believe he has the authority to do that. Of course, he could approach them, or ask the governor to help him bring resources to bear. He can knock on anybody's door he wants to."

As for the legal legitimacy of the sweeps, Steffey said the specific nature of the searches must be considered.

"It's a legitimate concern that police could overstep their boundaries, but if we're only talking about patrol cars and cops on the street, the only people not welcoming that are criminals," Steffey said.

The city will need to watch how far such sweeps go, he added. "If we're talking about police trying to elbow their way into people's homes, that's another matter. They could be sued under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act. Any evidence they get is subject to suppression in court, and there's an important political check. If the citizens get outraged at police misconduct, it could bring around quick political action. This is a wait-and-see thing. This could be a very welcome thing, but a concerned citizenry would want to make sure that it's not going to be heavy-handed behavior that improper."

Steffey said he didn't believe the behavior would deviate toward the improper. "This is not Bull Connor with the dogs and the fire hoses," he said, referring to the violent tactics that Birmingham Police Commissioner Theophilus Eugene Connor used on civil rights demonstrators in 1963.

District Attorney Faye Peterson said she believed Melton had moved past his regulation-breaking behavior during his time at the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics when he set up unconstitutional roadblocks to search for drugs.

"I think Melton has learned from his mistakes at MBN that you have to have probable cause, or there's nothing anyone can do with the case. I think he's also probably learned that a lot of the officers and sergeants who do these investigations are not as incompetent as he used to believe—in fact, far from that."

Peterson said she thinks Melton has a clearer sense of the law now. "He can't help being highly verbal, but I think he's learned that if you're going to make cases that are going to stick there are a lot of things you have to do. ... The law is out there. We can't just make it the way we want to. There are case laws and decisions, and we have to work within those parameters," the district attorney said, adding that she believed, through many conversations with Melton following the primaries, that he is more open-minded now than he had been.

"He appears to have, from what I can tell, a lot of up-front enthusiasm. A lot of people have been worried that we're going to have a bunch of people arrested unnecessarily through witch hunts, but if I thought that was going to happen then I would sit him down and tell him that he couldn't do it, and I think he would actually listen to that," Peterson said.

NO STARTLING SURPRISES

Gary Anderson, former executive director of the state Department of Finance and Administration and former deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority, now chairs Melton's Administration Executive Committee. Anderson said his committee has met four times with Johnson's people in an attempt to sort out the challenges facing the budget for the new fiscal year, which will start Oct. 1. Anderson says he has yet to encounter any startling surprises in the numbers he's finding.

"Local government has undergone some real challenges over the last five or six years with a declining economy, but with a still seemingly strong demand for services. As a result, you do see the erosion of the financial position of the city. That was not a surprise. There are some challenges," Anderson said, but added that "there also are some real opportunities we see in the budget," explaining that a report will soon be issued by the committee.

Entergy Vice Chair of Community Development Haley Fisackerly is on Melton's Economic Development Executive Committee. Fisackerly describes Melton as "wide open" to ideas from others.

"I feel, from the directives that we've been given, that we've got a new mayor coming in here who's really ready to lead. While he's got a lot of good ideas himself, he wants to hear from others what the obstacles are blocking Jackson's way to progress," says Fisackerly, who then tossed in a few preliminary suggestions that the new administration may follow up on.

"It's safe to say that we have good employees in the city of Jackson, but they don't have the resources needed to do their job," Fisackerly said. "Funding is a big problem. I've been perplexed to see a city with a decline in revenue base, but there have been no aggressive changes in the administration to meet what your budgets are. You see staff going five years without major salary increases. How do you get people to do a good job when you can't reward them?"

Fisackerly opposes tax increases, preferring staff cuts. "We can't afford what we have, and we've got to tighten the belt. I think there's some opportunities for streamlining. They have antiquated computers that don't network with one another. ... I think the administration can turn more to automation. You don't need as many personnel to do jobs that can be done through automation," Fisackerly said.

The Jackson City Council recently moved to ensure that no appointed city employees would be re-located to more permanent posts, but the motion did not pass.

Brenda Scott, president of the Mississippi Alliance of State Employees and a supporter of Melton during his campaign, said she could not condone firing city employees who work at the street level. She also warned that automation would "never replace the human touch."

"I think there should be a hiring freeze until we assess the workers-to-work ratio and then do something, but I don't know if there are too many city workers. Usually, if you find too many, they're at the top and not necessarily where the rubber meets the road," Scott said, adding that the needs of the city's shrinking tax base had to be considered. "We know that for the city of Jackson, the only way we pay for services that city residents receive is through taxes, fee, tickets and all that stuff, so we have to look at replacing workers with automation if it'll save your tax base."

Other topics mulled over by the team include the possibility of starting a revolving loan pool to help businesses with façade upgrades or help them relocate or open their doors in the downtown area.

HEAR 'EM AND HUG 'EM

Mississippi Development Authority Executive Director Leland Speed, who donated to Melton's campaign and heads his economic-development transition team, said this administration will be very business friendly. "Businesses are no different from you and me. We want two things. We want to be heard. We want to be appreciated. …Frankly, businesses haven't felt like they were being heard or appreciated. Under the new administration, you'll see a big change in this. It's amazing what you can accomplish with just pure, old-fashioned salesmanship," Speed said, describing the new business policy as a "hear 'em and hug 'em."

When asked if businesses were getting plenty of hearings and hugs in Madison and Brandon, Speed said Jackson has the advantage of a high customer population.

"We're the biggest market in the metropolitan area. The metropolitan area, as a whole, is doing well economically. We're doing better than the coast, actually, but the city of Jackson's piece of that total just hasn't been getting the average," he said, adding that the new administration might also take a new look at the Jackson Re-development Authority, which he says has had bigger successes in the past.

"Property owners who have inherited property downtown don't tend to be the most aggressive developers, so in the past, we've had the Jackson Redevelopment Authority assemble blocks of property and make them available to the public. ... It did all manner of stuff, but the JRA has been basically inert for eight years. It's got to come back to life," Speed said.

FOCUS ON DOWNTOWN?

John Lawrence, director of Downtown Jackson Partners, is also a member of the Economic Development Committee. He pointed out that the city of Jackson and the Jackson Redevelopment Authority are some of the largest holders of non-taxable property in downtown, primarily in the form of under-utilized parking lots and plots of vacant land.

"It would be nice if we could more aggressively get these into the hands of developers," he said. "Over the last four years we started to see the shift from all of our downtown projects being public projects. We have the TelCom Center and the Union Station and the type of projects that ultimately cost taxpayers money, but what we're starting to see now are new businesses, such as the Plaza Building and the Electric Building. I'd like the new administration to look at the inventory of land we have. If we have to put incentive packages together and land together and treat every mom-and-pop restaurant or a 20-unit residential building like we treat Nissan, then that's what we need to do."

When asked if the last administration had encouraged private development, such as the Electric Building and the Plaza Building, Lawrence said they did, but added that the prior administration was "on the front end of the learning curve."

"The truth is they did (foster private development), but they did it very methodically. They were learning, and now we're in a position where we've gotten beyond that a little bit, and we need to get more aggressive about it," Lawrence said.

Johnson has been accused, often by Melton, of giving too much attention to downtown projects at the expense of the rest of Jackson. Lawrence said Melton could effectively duck such accusations by pointing out the benefits of private development to the rest of Jackson—including the many successful projects spearheaded by the Johnson administration, like the Heritage Building, City Centre, the Electric Building and the Marriott renovation.

"That's about $40 million in projects. That means $450,000 going to (Jackson Public Schools) that wasn't there last year. Too often our elected officials feel that if I'm seen as promoting downtown then I'm seen as neglecting our neighborhoods. The new administration needs to say we're aggressively looking at opportunities. There's a wealth of them, and we can pick a dozen more projects in the near future," Lawrence advised.

Fisackerly and others are also taking a new look at state legislation that makes the removal of dilapidated buildings problematic for the city coffers due to expensive upkeep of the property. "But there's legislation out there that will allow the city, when that absentee landowner makes a tax payment, to take a portion of that to pay back the lien, so the city can recoup its cost in that property," Fisackerly said, adding that he didn't think this legislation has been "aggressively pursued by the city."

Other goals that will require the authority of the state Legislature include the possibility of a Payment In Lieu of Tax, or PILT system, for the upkeep of city projects. There are 66 blocks in downtown Jackson. A fair percentage of them, despite recent consolidation efforts by the state, bring in no taxes because they are occupied by offices of the state government. New administration officials are talking about asking the state government to pick up some financial responsibility for that real estate.

History has shown, however, that legislators coming out of north or south Mississippi for a few weeks out of the year to make government decisions don't always place the city of Jackson high on their priorities list. It took many years for the state to even allow the city of Jackson the option to tax itself for the construction of a Convention Center. Johnson complained on numerous occasions over the last eight years that legislators turn a deaf ear to Jackson gripes, despite the amount of noise produced by the Hinds County delegation.

Lawrence said he was hopeful that the Legislature would unite with Jackson residents if state and city objectives were shown to share benefits. "The state has done a great job of consolidating their employment downtown. They've built several new buildings, and they take wonderful care of their properties, but we need them to take a more active role in what's happening off their properties," Lawrence said. "We have to help our Legislature understand that we've got 26,000 employees coming to this area every day. A huge number of them are government employees."

CITY NEED A FACELIFT?

Fisackerly says his experience at Entergy forces him to the conclusion that one of the bigger problems facing the emergence of new business in the state is the overall appearance of its capital city—an argument that he feels should hold water with legislators.

"At Entergy, we worked a lot with site consultants in recruiting business investment to the state, and one of the most resounding things we hear from our site consultants is our image issues," Fisackerly said.

This same argument has been lobbed repeatedly at the Legislature, but has been met with even more indifference lately, as the state struggles under a shrinking economy.

"I think it's more a matter of opening the dialogue and having someone who can build better relationships across the lines," said Lawrence, who added that those lines can hopefully be reopened between the city and county supervisors as well. Neither the city government nor the county supervisors brag about close relationships between one another. Squabbles have broken out over issues as seemingly simple as establishing a police communication system that allows authorities in both governments to talk to one another.

Melton's close relations to Supervisor Doug Anderson is an example of a line of communication already opened, however, according to Melton supporters—and one that was systematically closed to the previous administration, regardless of its efforts.

Melton, though, is a "remarkable uniter," Speed said. "There was a very unique coalition that supported Frank. We've never seen anything like this in Jackson," Speed said. "When you've got (Jackson Advocate Publisher) Charles Tisdale, (Southern Christian Leadership Conference Executive Director) Stephanie Parker-Weaver and Billy Mounger and the AFL-CIO, we haven't seen anything like this. He's brought the most disparate bunch of folks that you can ever see."

Certainly, the alliance is surprising being that Tisdale has had a turbulent relationship with Speed. Parker-Weaver and Speed have also been at odds in the past. Parker-Weaver has accused Speed and the Downtown Jackson Partners of trying to stuff the primarily black voting district of downtown Jackson with white voters through high-end residential development, such as the Electric Building.

Today, though, Parker-Weaver said Melton's appeal crosses social barriers. "Frank has a very diverse background of people who support him based upon what he's said he's going to do for the good of all. I'm not surprised, because Frank is a very sincere person," she said.

Speed admits this alliance could be tenuous, but said he believes in it. "This is not cornball stuff," said Speed. "This is our moment of hope. A lot of folks I talk to still don't believe it's happening. Will there be attrition? Hell, yes. That's the law of nature, but I think I think Frank is going to retain enough to keep things moving."

Melton's Plans

To date, Frank Melton hasn't unveiled a plethora of specific plans for the city, but has floated the following ideas:

Crime: Melton has referred to the JPD as "brass weary," saying that there are too many chiefs and commanders. Melton promises a shake-up in the JPD's higher ranks. Melton's political platform called for putting "the bulk of personnel of any police department should be in the streets and neighborhoods." He promises door-to-door "sweeps" in some neighborhoods assisted by "military aircraft."

Economic Development: Melton's campaign promises on economic development have been generally non-distinct. His platform does call for the encouragement of more private enterprise in the downtown area. Melton has promised to work for low taxes, low crime rate, quality schools and a strong, capable work force. Melton has also promised his administration will hear the frustrations of existing businesses. He has also said he will better market tax incentives to businesses who wish to open in "slum/blighted areas." He also promises that the city will work with private investors to open a recording studio on Farish Street.

Water and Sewer: The brunt of the dialogue in Melton's platform plans for water and sewer upkeep involve complaining that water and sewer rates are rising. He calls the rate hikes "unconscionable." He befuddled city officials last week when he asked, on transitional letterhead, for Council to halt progress on a plan to refinance water and sewer system bonds. He also complains that city residents are often called upon to drink bottled water due to frequent contamination. According to his platform, the solution is "new leadership."

Streets: Melton has said Hinds County supervisors have "offered to help with street resurfacing but to no avail. This city has continuously refused to accept such assistance." Outgoing Mayor Harvey Johnson has documents that show that the city attempted on numerous occasions to broker a deal with the county on the allocation of federal money for street resurfacing. The county, he said, wanted to pick and choose which city streets got the repairs, despite the wide availability of more needy streets. Johnson submitted a list of the most blighted streets for county approval, with an offer to let the city carry the costs for the streets the county refused. Johnson said he never got an answer from Hinds County Board of Supervisors President Doug Anderson. Anderson was a key figure in Melton's campaign, however.

Education: Melton has called for the use of school facilities by religious and civic groups for programs that "strengthen our neighborhoods," using the facilities as after-school programs and civic centers. Melton says he would also like to rely on the "experience and leadership" of retirees and seniors in staffing community building endeavors. He said during the campaign that he would like to see spanking returned to schools and will arrest parents who show up at school complaining about their children's discipline.

Neighborhood Development: Melton has vowed to work with neighborhood associations to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods. Melton plans to tackle the problem of eroding neighborhoods by rounding up the criminal element. He also promises to work with unions to train young people to rebuild dilapidated housing.

Also read the JFP's editorial this issue: If Melton's 'Pro-Jackson,' Then We're 'Pro-Melton'.

For background on the Melton campaign, see the JFP's 2005 Elections Blog here, with extensive coverage of Melton's campaign and a profile of the new mayor. Click here to read Melton's JFP campaign page, which includes his full campaign platform (it is no longer on his Web site).

Previous Comments

ID
78270
Comment

All, I heard a rumor that every city department head got a pink slip today. Haven't confirmed, yet, so if you know anything, let me know directly: [email]ladd@jacksonfreepress.com[/email] .

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-29T16:48:21-06:00
ID
78271
Comment

Just heard a confirmation that the rumor is true. It sounds like it's every department head from Fire Chief to Public Works.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-29T17:03:50-06:00
ID
78272
Comment

May sound like a silly question but who issued the terminations and what was the reason provided?

Author
kaust
Date
2005-06-29T17:48:24-06:00
ID
78273
Comment

Here's what I know so far; still sketchy. Melton apparently sent a notice to department heads asking them to tender a letter of resignation effective July 5, and saying they could re-apply for their jobs and be considered with other applicants. I do not have the exact language, though, so this is preliminary. As I understand it, it is every department head. Apparently, in the past, this has not happened, or at least the recent past. Johnson, for instance, kept on several Ditto appointees. That's all I really know so far. If anyone has more, or conflicting, info, please share it. As I said, this is preliminary.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-29T18:01:42-06:00
ID
78274
Comment

In a speech the other day he mentioned that he was going to only have 5 Department heads or something like that. I think we have 28 or so now, so either the hiring freeze statement will come true or 23 people are being taken for a ride that they "may" get their jobs back. And, for someone who says his administration has no color, he sure is stressing the fact that he is hiring a Hispanic and an Indian into his administration. Why mention it then? There appears to be rays of light in what Melton has planned, so we will just have to see. Though today isn't a good sign that he is wroking for all 177,000 of us. There are others who are probably resigning anyway or have already to add to the total today. You can apply for a job directly on his website. I don't know how that jives with the rules of hiring for the city; but, if anyone needs a job they may have one available.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-29T19:51:07-06:00
ID
78275
Comment

Interesting about the ability to apply online. While I think that it's great he's seeking applicants and is being proactive, I'm curious if the existing stacks of resumes will be pilfered by the transition team also? Of course, it'll be hard to find out unless the C-L or WLBT asks him since he has stubbornly proven he won't stroll into this kitchen to discuss our perspectives and concerns. This will all prove to be very interesting. On one hand, change is always exciting (even if that change differs from a preferred path); on the other, a new path is full of unpredictable surprises (both good and bad). I hope we're able to deal with those surprises and the myriad of problems that have plagued this city as long as I can remember. I rub my Buddha daily wishing this "uniter" does more for our city (and state?) than another "uniter" that's done nothing but tarnish our country, national coffers and my personal sense of patriotism. I sincerly hope my expressed concerns are for naught...

Author
kaust
Date
2005-06-29T20:40:28-06:00
ID
78276
Comment

It really looks as if Melton is cleaning house and I appreciate that from him. His crime campaign scares me a bit, but if this city has deteriorated that bad in some areas then more power to him. Image issues - oh yes. I heard a friend talking about possible condos downtown and by the empty riverbed the used to be known as the Pearl. I would like to see some condos inside the King Edward when it's finally finished. I'd be interested in one of those. walking distance to the Farish Street district when it's finally finished. maybe a small version of a krogers or whole foods in the area. the train station is right there. oh the possibilities. ...but it's got to be safe....in reality, not on paper.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T07:04:16-06:00
ID
78277
Comment

It's unfortunate that Melton seemingly believes that there aren't any Jacksonians qualified enough to run departments in their own city, based on his recent appointments. I think Councilman Crisler makes an excellent point in Adam Lynch's article this week. And there are only 8 department heads in the city...not 28...as has been claimed. FYI, the 8 departments are police, fire, administration, planning, parks and recreation, legal and human and cultural services.

Author
thabian
Date
2005-06-30T08:32:49-06:00
ID
78278
Comment

I actually like Melton's moves to not hire from within. Too many people are tired of the same ol' horse and pony show. I know I am. Some fresh new blood is needed to revitalize the Mayor's office.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T09:01:15-06:00
ID
78279
Comment

Thabian, thanks for the update. I thought that sounded high and didn't make sense. Here is the current organizational chart for the city. It appears there are 8 departments; but, some of those departments have important divisions within them. Also, you have the City Clerk and Attorney so that makes 10 for sure. Who knows? I was knee jerking to the rumors yesterday. That is going to happen if the new administration isn't more transparent with its plans and information. Let's hope for hte best!

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-30T09:32:14-06:00
ID
78280
Comment

Frank Melton. I don't know much of his politics or other business, but for some strange reason I've never liked they guy.

Author
El Canario
Date
2005-06-30T09:40:34-06:00
ID
78281
Comment

As a citizen of the city of Jackson, I personally don't want people who live in Madison or any other municipality driving into this city and running a city department... that was my point about Melton's recent appointments. Any new administration is going to choose their own team, whether they keep some of the existing players or not. But I do think that the city of Jackson has wonderful talent already here. To search outside our boundaries for people who don't have a real investment in Jackson is frankly a slap in the face in my view.

Author
thabian
Date
2005-06-30T09:48:57-06:00
ID
78282
Comment

thabian - I used to think that but my wisdom allowed me to see the big picture. Frank is doing a great service for Jackson by bringing in stronger influence and fresher ideas. It's exactly what Jackson needs. I'm sure those people love Jackson or they wouldn't be interested in helping Frank at all.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T10:01:03-06:00
ID
78283
Comment

There's a fine line between 'bringing in fresh ideas' and bringing in a crop of people with no clue of how and why things are done. I've seen it happen in a variety of ways in various corporations over the years. Coming in and whacking people does not automatically guarantee positive change. It can easily make things worse. It's important to preserve some "institutional memory." As in, "we tried that idea in 1997, and it failed, and we got sued, and here's how it all played out. If we try it again, we need to avoid these mistakes." You've got to keep some old blood around, in some capacity where their experience is utilized to prevent making the same mistakes over and over again. Also, it depends very heavily on whether or not Melton is surrounding himself with people who will agree with him no matter what (limiting his perspective, limiting his feedback, limiting his grasp of the whole picture), or, if he's really surrounding himself with the best he can find, whether or not he agrees with them. If he's hiring a bunch of yes-people and will be micromanaging everything, that's not good. Trying to withhold judgment until this all plays out, but I'm not impressed with this as a first move.

Author
kate
Date
2005-06-30T10:19:55-06:00
ID
78284
Comment

Well chickjuice...let's hope your 'wisdom' is accurate. I am certainly only hoping for the best for our city. I for one love Jackson so much.....that I actually live here, rather than commuting 20 or more miles a day to and from one of the suburbs... Speaking of wisdom, one of my favorite quotes is: "It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate thingsî (Henry David Thoreau)

Author
thabian
Date
2005-06-30T10:20:37-06:00
ID
78285
Comment

Kate makes a good point. Melton ran as the "CEO mayor"; is it really a smart business move to fire all the folks who actually manage the city day to day and make them "re-apply." That re-apply-for-your-job proclamation is a business strategy that, inevitably, does not pay off in the long run. It seems to be fear-based management, and doesn't strike me as the best way to motivate people. It certainly seems an odd strategy for public administration. And I am surprised that he would cut from the top across the board, being that he seems to plan to spend a lot of his own energy being "top cop." As Kate says, you can't micro-manage everything.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-30T10:40:43-06:00
ID
78286
Comment

I believe Eric Clark "fired" all the division heads and mid-level administrators when he first became Secretary of State by asking them all for resignations and giving them the opportunity to interview. I think he rehired about half of them.

Author
Johann
Date
2005-06-30T11:53:30-06:00
ID
78287
Comment

Maybe that explains the sensibility of the Diebold contract. ;-) For the record, I'm no Eric Clark fan. Still sounds like a bad "business" strategy to me.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-30T11:56:29-06:00
ID
78288
Comment

Maybe I should ask Mr. Melton for a job. I'm eminently qualified.

Author
Johann
Date
2005-06-30T12:01:30-06:00
ID
78289
Comment

that "institutional memory" is just what we need rid Jackson of. All this beauty is tarnished by old way politics and procedures. Frank is a welcomed change in my eyes.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T12:13:40-06:00
ID
78290
Comment

is it really a smart business move to fire all the folks who actually manage the city day to day and make them "re-apply." Yes it's smart. That's the jewel of this administration. Fresh, smart, new not old. they should have to "re-apply" because their knowledge of ther skills needs to be "re-evaluated". It was a fantastic move. That re-apply-for-your-job proclamation is a business strategy that, inevitably, does not pay off in the long run.It seems to be fear-based management, and doesn't strike me as the best way to motivate people. How do you know this? we've never tried it in the new millennium. change starts at the top anyway, not the bottom. And it's a great opportunity for some newly graduate to have a chance at the positions. great move. It certainly seems an odd strategy for public administration. not to me. And I am surprised that he would cut from the top across the board, being that he seems to plan to spend a lot of his own energy being "top cop." As Kate says, you can't micro-manage everything. Frank will get the job done.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T12:24:23-06:00
ID
78291
Comment

How do you know this I read a lot, including business and management books. I also know a lot of folks in the business world and who are very effective managers. Let's just say fear-based management is not on the most cutting-edge of business trends in the 21st century. I disagree with you that it's a good idea. And that's OK, chickjuice; don't take that personally. Frank will get the job done. I appreciate your confidence. However, as members of the media, our job is not to make rhetorical predictions. We have to trudge through the machinations of day-to-day accountability and detail-gathering. But I hope this proves to be true. Only time will tell.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-30T12:32:05-06:00
ID
78292
Comment

i am so disappointed to hear people saying that any action is action. no way can you say that youre tired of the "same ol horse and pony show" and be serious. I wanna, no I am going to be mayor and to bring in all your buddies is not a diverse group. so basically i think we are so tired of Johnson that anyone not named Johnson could win. I never voted for Johnson but at least all the people I voted for had a plan. Neely and Harden so its not that Im loyal to Johnson as much as I am distrustful of Melton and how buddy buddy he is w/ business and people that are not from the Jackson Area. I wonder how to gauge a mayor that cant get his wife to move to Jackson. Then I question a mayor that doesnt want to promote from within like Jacksonians are unable or unqualified to govern themselves

Author
skipp
Date
2005-06-30T12:46:23-06:00
ID
78293
Comment

Did your books state why they didn't work or did you just not like how they worked in those citites? What's considered an effective manager to one group of people may not neccessarily be an effective manager to the next group of people. And I wouldn't consider it "fear-based" managment. That falls under your "straw man" theory at best. It's more a "out with the old, in with the new" theory. Frank's moves are a great way to weed out the slackers on the job that have enjoyed years of squatting with no results and hire new blood with more energy and willingness to work to get things done. Only those that have proven progress need not have to "re-apply". Even then, if their skills are above and beyond the new applicants, they have nothing to worry about. I would've done the same thing. Maek them re-apply. Let's see whose here to work and not here to squat. Job security should be based on productivity, not grandfathered provisions. just my opinion of course.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T12:56:29-06:00
ID
78294
Comment

Interesting points, skipp. Many people disagree with me, I personally believe that strength of personal relationships should be a gauge for public officeóI'm already on record with that "moral" belief over the Clinton mess. Also, I think you make a good point about Johnson. Fair or not, and regardless of the impact of poor media coverage, many people were not enthusiastic about re-electing Johnson, and he ran a poor campaign. From a political standpoint, I actually believe that had Melton run a better campaign and been more open with ideas and specifics (and, say, honored his agreements to do a big Q&A interview with us) that he might have actually gotten a turnout that would have supported an idea of a "mandate." (Or at least come closer to it.) I think he allowed some of the people around him to give him some really, really bad advice, and do and say ugly things and lies, that turned many people off from voting for him. Thus, the turnout was so miserable. His campaign, and many of his most vocal supporters, truly get the credit for making many people stay home because they were so ugly and loose with the truth. I know many people who never planned to vote for Johnson who ended up not voting for Meltonóand I think a better Melton campaign would have reeled many of them in for him. I think the awful campaign puts him in a place of really needing to talk directly to the people more often now in order to get the trust he needs for people to support his decisions. Making the level of change he's talking about is going to require a lot of trust from the people. And he, and he alone, can instill it. He needs to start making up for the horrendous mistakes made during his campaign. He's really lucky that Johnson proved to be so unpopular, or at least less-than-inspiring to so many people. Now, I could critique Johnson's campaign equally as harshly, but we've already done that. And, besides, he's out of the political picture for now. So we need to keep our eye on the ball.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-30T13:01:34-06:00
ID
78295
Comment

I wonder how to gauge a mayor that cant get his wife to move to Jackson. That's an easy one..support him. His wife not moving to Jackson can be based on many factors, one being, nothing to keep her entertained. Jackson needs a facelift and after Frank does just that, she'll move here within weeks. Then I question a mayor that doesnt want to promote from within like Jacksonians are unable or unqualified to govern themselves That's an easy one too...Hire the best qualified individuals for the job. Just because a business doesn't hire from within doesn't mean it's not helping the business. Sometimes hiring from within creates the same stale atmosphere and it's worth looking outside your immediate circle.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T13:04:16-06:00
ID
78296
Comment

chickjuice, I wonder if you would have told Frank Melton these same things when he, as a journalist, was holding public officials' feet to the fire in the past for many things, private and personal? Would you have said, "Oh, settle down Frank and just trust our elected officials. They're going to do a great job. No need to question." You might have, but that is not our job to do. I would shut the JFP down before I allowed it to become one of those papers too afraid to question and hold accountable powerful people, regardless of party or support base. Papers like that are not honoring the privileges and obligations granted to us by the First Amendment. And, I must say, I consider Mr. Melton a role model on this front. In the last conversation I had with him (just before the election), in fact, he told me that the JFP's coverage of him reminds him of the old Frank Melton. I took that as a compliment. I've said before that I like him as a person and have enjoyed our one-on-one conversations. I really look forward to sitting down with him for a large interview for Jacksonians' enjoyment and consideration. You think the Killen issue flew off the racks! ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-30T13:14:36-06:00
ID
78297
Comment

True, chickjuice. Jackson's entertainment scene pales in comparison to that of Tyler, TX. *rolleyes* If anything, I'd have to imagine that her responsibilities as a doctor in Tyler are the main reason she doesn't live here. In just a handful of posts, you've made more assumptions that most JFP posters have made on this site, period. "frank will get the job done" "...she'll move here within weeks" "...smart. That's the jewel of this administration" "Some fresh new blood is needed to revitalize the Mayor's office" "It's exactly what Jackson needs" How about letting the man actually take office before we knight him?

Author
millhouse
Date
2005-06-30T13:27:24-06:00
ID
78298
Comment

I might not have, depending on the situation...But that was then, this is now. Frank is the leader Jackson needs. There's no question about that fact. Have all the interviews you need to have. Freedom of speech and the press is a great tool to get information to people. Hopefully, he'll take you seriously and grant as many interviews as you can write up. My only request is you make sure you report it all of it from all sides, objectively. Let the people decide on the new Mayor's character.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T13:41:12-06:00
ID
78299
Comment

knight him or love him to death either way a man that gets frustrated when you ask him questions makes me nervous. and all i wanna know is where do Meltonites get all of this positive energy and spin from because they just called Johnson a liar when he did the same things chickjuice i hope my lucky stars youre right but what if just what if you arent what is the plan then besides electing me

Author
skipp
Date
2005-06-30T13:45:47-06:00
ID
78300
Comment

millhouse - I've never been to Tyler, so I can only speak for Jackson. and to be honest, Anytown,Mississippi is more appealing than Jackson is right now. So Tyler can't be that much worse. Nothing wrong with being optimistic about the new Mayor. Not like we can vote him out now. And anybody who didn't vote got what they deserved.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T13:49:17-06:00
ID
78301
Comment

skipp- who are you? And I'm not a Meltonite as you and others claim. I just know Harvey was terrible, but that's another debate.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T13:51:38-06:00
ID
78302
Comment

Let the people decide on the new Mayor's character. Who else would decide!?! You are one cliche-spoutin' chick today, chick. ;-) Unlike other media, we have done everything in our power to report the city campaign "from all sides"óthat, as you know, does not mean unwillingness to question or declarations of amorphous "mandates"ówhich is also hollow rhetoric. You can't get much more "objective" (not that I believe "objectivity" is possible for media, but I quibble) than offering someone a Q&A forum to say what they want and even saying you'll run the whole thing on the Web. That, indeed, would give the "people" a good basis to draw conclusions on. You'll note that no substantive interviews appeared with Mr. Melton in any media during the campaign. There were some sound bites published, but no real interviews published. Of course, the other outlets didn't do much better with the other candidates, either. I've never seem the lamestream do a worse job covering a campaign, and I've seen some mighty bad horse-race coverage.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-30T13:54:24-06:00
ID
78303
Comment

chickjuice - who are you? Don't answer that. The point is that it is not up to you to ask other people who they are (although skipp isn't exactly hiding his identity, I might add). And it's bizarre that someone posting anonymously would ask for someone's identity! No one said you shouldn't be optimistic. Your comments are going a bit beyond that, however, especially when you criticize others for questioning. There are words for that other than optimism.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-30T13:57:00-06:00
ID
78304
Comment

Anytown,Mississippi is more appealing than Jackson is right now. With that comment, chick, you've once again spent your credibility with me. Why would I listen to anything someone who says such a thing argues? I'm done trying to discuss with you. Your posts are still filled with stereotypical proclamations about everything from the city I love to black men you know.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-30T13:59:29-06:00
ID
78305
Comment

ladd - The people have spoken. And they ALL have said "It's time for a change." And change they got. Much needed I might add. Change is good.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T14:03:44-06:00
ID
78306
Comment

chickjuice i hope my lucky stars youre right but what if just what if you arent what is the plan then besides electing me ^That's why I asked him who he was, ladd. why are you so nitpicky today? need some java?

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T14:16:31-06:00
ID
78307
Comment

[quote]Change is good.[/quote] Wow what a blanket generalization! Guess it was good when Chief Moore was hired: it was a change. Guess it was good when babour and the legislature underfunded education: it was change. Guess it was good when some 1,000 American soldiers got killed in Iraq instead of none: it was change. And [quote]Change is good.[/quote]

Author
Johann
Date
2005-06-30T14:22:11-06:00
ID
78308
Comment

Electing skipp would be good. It's change...

Author
Johann
Date
2005-06-30T14:23:02-06:00
ID
78309
Comment

ladd- Don't get so defensive. I love this city too, I'm just not as jaded as others in believing that Jackson is anywhere near it's "appealing" potential. And until things change I'll have my own opinions about the city we both love if you don't mind, thank you. As far as keeping a credibility rating you...I didn't know I had to. oh well.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T14:23:36-06:00
ID
78310
Comment

chick, you're just showing alot more faith in Melton, and in the powers of change for the sake of change, than I ever could. I agree with you that getting rid of deadwood is good. But, the fact that he is getting rid of *all* the department heads implies that he's not being selective - he's just whacking people in order to make a bold gesture. In my experience, those bold gestures are often empty gestures. And, since we don't know who he's going to bring in to head the departments, I'm having a hard time getting excited about all this new blood. Because, it may not be new blood, or smart blood, or effective blood. I'm waiting to actually see what the results of the changes are, before I declare them good or bad. It's a bit too soon for the "mission accomplished" sentiments that are being kicked around.

Author
kate
Date
2005-06-30T14:28:45-06:00
ID
78311
Comment

Johann - Change is good...especially when the change is worth it. clear that up for you :o)

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T14:29:22-06:00
ID
78312
Comment

kate - Firing the squatters is "mission accoplished" in my eyes. Harvey hired outside the city/state too. Nothing wrong with finding the brightest and the best. keeping with the same ol rags only leads to more dirty ol' clothes. If they re-apply and get the job, then they deserved that job. simple. light a match.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T14:34:52-06:00
ID
78313
Comment

His wife not moving to Jackson can be based on many factors, one being, nothing to keep her entertained. Can't Frank entertain her?

Author
thabian
Date
2005-06-30T14:38:57-06:00
ID
78314
Comment

chickjuice--Change is good...especially when the change is worth it.[/] So you're qualifyinf when change is good and when it's not? Your saying specific change is good? You want some exact change? ....ok...Can you break a $5?

Author
Johann
Date
2005-06-30T14:47:42-06:00
ID
78315
Comment

thabian -- LOL

Author
Johann
Date
2005-06-30T14:50:12-06:00
ID
78316
Comment

Chick, do you have any business or gov't experience with this type of thing? I've seen it happen in the business world, and the best people often don't bother to reapply, because they don't like being treated like crap, and know they can find work with someone who will actually respect them, and evaluate them on how well they are doing their job. Firing someone before you've worked with them is just bad management, and does more long term harm than good, at least that I've seen. It creates a ton of lingering resentment, and the best and brightest often leave within the first year, if they bother staying that long. Wanting change to be good is not the same as change actually being good. I want this to be a good change - just sitting on the sidelines waiting to see how it plays out.

Author
kate
Date
2005-06-30T14:56:20-06:00
ID
78317
Comment

Seriously, chickjuice... you're giving one assumption after another and it's making you look foolish. I got a kick out of this one : "The people have spoken. And they ALL have said 'It's time for a change.'" If your definition of "ALL" is the lowest voter turnout in a long time, then I guess you're right. Your "anytown, MS" quote takes the cake, though. There's not even the slightest bit of truth to that. You sound like a lot of the Harvey Johnson haters that I ever encountered before the election. No substance, but plenty of unsubstantiated BS. And, for the record, I've been to Tyler, TX. There's simply no comparison between it and Jackson on any level. It's the apple to Jackson's orange. And I find it funny that you wouldn't speak for it....you seem to speak for all kinds of other things you know nothing about.

Author
millhouse
Date
2005-06-30T15:01:50-06:00
ID
78318
Comment

Seriously, why is anyone wasting time responding to chickjuice? It is this same type of rhetoric that distorted infomation about the outgoing administration. No they weren't perfect, but neither was Ditto, Danks, or Russell Thompson. The fact of the matter is that this city DID improve in many areas over the past eight years. Mr. Melton still has much do to before him...I just hope he doesn't turn the clock back on the positive changes that have been made. We have no choice but to give him a chance..no matter how much it pains some of us.

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-06-30T15:08:44-06:00
ID
78319
Comment

Seriously, why is anyone wasting time responding to chickjuice? It is this same type of rhetoric that distorted infomation about the outgoing administration. No they weren't perfect, but neither was Ditto, Danks, or Russell Thompson. The fact of the matter is that this city DID improve in many areas over the past eight years. Mr. Melton still has much do to before him...I just hope he doesn't turn the clock back on the positive changes that have been made. We have no choice but to give him a chance..no matter how much it pains some of us.

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-06-30T15:09:43-06:00
ID
78320
Comment

Seriously, why is anyone wasting time responding to chickjuice? It is this same type of rhetoric that distorted infomation about the outgoing administration. No they weren't perfect, but neither was Ditto, Danks, or Russell Thompson. The fact of the matter is that this city DID improve in many areas over the past eight years. Mr. Melton still has much do to before him...I just hope he doesn't turn the clock back on the positive changes that have been made. We have no choice but to give him a chance..no matter how much it pains some of us.

Author
seanbp
Date
2005-06-30T15:09:55-06:00
ID
78321
Comment

Johann - you've trie to qualify that change was good regardless in your first "change is good" reply didn't you?

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T15:10:23-06:00
ID
78322
Comment

I never qualified "Change is good" becuase I have never held that change is good just because it is change. Change can be bad or good or indifferent. A traffic light changes, is the change good? It's indifferent on a preference scale (except to those waiting). I would never say "change is good" in such a blanket way as you did. Actually, chick, I think there is hope for you with a little study...

Author
Johann
Date
2005-06-30T15:18:54-06:00
ID
78323
Comment

kate - If they were squatters then I'm sure Frank got privy info to that affect. I have an uncle that went through a change like this at his job in North Carolina. He told us he survived only because his work ethic and productivity showed he was a valuable asset. He had to reapply and he got his job back. no difference here. It's refreshing to know that we have a Mayor that's willing to shake things up to get things going in a better direction. Harvey wouldn't think of firing anyone. Frankly I'm glad the boat has been rocked. He broke possible Bureacracies in those agencies, if it wasn't one already.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T15:19:27-06:00
ID
78324
Comment

cj: "I just know Harvey was terrible, but that's another debate." On the Killen forum you mentioned that things were better because Dale Danks was out of office. In fact, twice you mentioned him. What did he do? Some of us here have no framework or knowledge of his administration as it would relate to your comments about him. Nor how they related to the Killen trial or to your comments about HJJ. Sounds like you will turn on any person in charge of the city.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-30T15:19:50-06:00
ID
78325
Comment

millhouse - I was talking about ALL who voted for the winner. clear that up for you.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T15:21:48-06:00
ID
78326
Comment

Jwap-- We have no choice but to give him a chance I'm sure Monday will be a gala day for Frank....

Author
Johann
Date
2005-06-30T15:22:13-06:00
ID
78327
Comment

jwap - The fact of the matter is that this city DID improve in many areas over the past eight years. Mr. Melton still has much do to before him...I just hope he doesn't turn the clock back on the positive changes that have been made. ^I'm not arguing that. that's why I'm optimistic.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T15:23:10-06:00
ID
78328
Comment

tortoise - the areas where it counted Harvey dropped the ball. overall , he was a half-decent Mayor in my view.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-06-30T15:24:42-06:00
ID
78329
Comment

But, what did Dale Danks do? When I saw that on the Killen forum, I was like hunh? What does that have to do with Killen or how you feel about Jackson.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-06-30T15:30:28-06:00
ID
78330
Comment

Anytown,Mississippi is more appealing than Jackson is right now. (Laughing uncontrollably) Chicks gone right up his/her tree! Jackson is like another planet compared to the rest of Mississippi.

Author
El Canario
Date
2005-06-30T15:35:23-06:00
ID
78331
Comment

All, remember this conversation continues at the Lounge tonight. Be there. Otherwise, I'm off to do Radio Fondren. Listen if you get a chance.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-06-30T15:44:26-06:00
ID
78332
Comment

El Canario - Jackson isn't the belly of the beast but it's pretty darn close. I'm hopeful Frank is the antacid. we all should be. I talked to a friend last night that says Frank is using his knowledge from TV to build a dance studio for the youth. That's using the "ol' bean". The kids need an outlet other than drugs and crime because the bowling allies and chuck e' cheese is not enough. I wonder if the younger kids are as pessimistic about this administration as most of you are, although most of you do indeed make sure to end your sentences with a kind word about the Mayor.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-01T07:03:02-06:00
ID
78333
Comment

tortoise - that's an old can of worms that maybe the lawyers can get around to after he's in 80's too. ;o)

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-01T07:04:57-06:00
ID
78334
Comment

I'm not pessimistic about the administration. I just don't get why people like yourself are all but guaranteeing that he's already turned his first jug of water into wine, with the promise of more to come. And he's not even the MAYOR yet. Harvey Johnson did a lot of great things for this city. In my eyes, his biggest downfall was that so many things took so much longer to be completed than necessary. In the end, though, things were basically done right. But the time it took to make things happen was annoying. If Melton can keep accomplishing the kinds of things that Johnson was, and quicker, then Jackson made the right choice as far as I'm concerned. If not, we got rid of the best Mayor the city has ever had for no reason. I will say that Melton's victory has apparently renewed hope from all over about the city's future. That's huge for Jackson, but it's very unfair to Mayor Johnson and also very ironic. Melton's entire campaign focused on the whole "perception" deal, and PERCEPTION is the ONLY reason the man won the election. Go figure.

Author
millhouse
Date
2005-07-01T07:47:50-06:00
ID
78335
Comment

CJ: I just thought it was strange to mention him twice and then provide no background as to how it related to Killen. He was a pretty decent Mayor if I remember correctly. The Flood of 79, where Danks gained a Giuliani type hero status here for how he responded, was a prelude to the white flight that would plague the end of his run. Many flood residents went to Madison and Rankin to lay the seeds for those who followed later. At one time Danks redid over 25 roads in a short period of time. Socially, I don't know much. I'm sure he is a bit old school; but, he always seemed fair and it appears he will try to "get justice" for Jacksonians who are suing/fighting Jackson. ;-) I know this is a Melton thread; but, Danks is a part of his inner circle so if you have any input on his role or why he has harmed Jackson (besides his lawsuits against the city and Byram) then it would be relevant. If not, then why even mention him at all? I really hope the coalition being built is the antacid you mentioned. The good thing about Tums is it dissolves and is gone after doing its job! So far many of the appointees are good ones, so we will see.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-07-01T08:02:46-06:00
ID
78336
Comment

A little off topic... You know, I've decided -- if Melton can lower taxes in this city (especially property and car tag), I'll be a happy man. I would guess no matter how much crime is reduced or who he kicks from office, people just won't be flocking to the city when property taxes and car tags are through the roof. My friend in Madison has a home three/four times the size of mine (with a value four times mine) and a car twice (maybe 3x) the value of mine and she still pays less in taxes than me... I realize Madison doesn't have the infrastructure costs but I'm beginning to think that one of the easiest ways to get new citizens in our limits is to make the city as affordable and reasonable as our neighbor's cities. I can't figure out exactly why I'm being taxed significantly more than someone just miles away that actually has far more luxuries at her doorstep and less-to-no crime in her area... I'm not sure if Melton can influence this but I've been reassured by other blogs that he is Superman... So, I have faith if we put it out there, he'll be able to pull through since I've been told he'll bring back a strong tax-base.

Author
kaust
Date
2005-07-01T08:31:11-06:00
ID
78337
Comment

millhouse - you're wrong. I never "guaranteed" anything. I'm just optimistic about Frank can do since he appears to have more enthusiasm than Harvey had to make Jackson become a greater city. Harvey Johnson did a lot of great things for this city. In my eyes, his biggest downfall was that so many things took so much longer to be completed than necessary. In the end, though, things were basically done right. But the time it took to make things happen was annoying. I agree. He did do a lot. and it did take too way too long. almost looked as if he wasn't going to "do" anything until it was time for another election. And, when it came time to run again, he didn't put forth the same passion for his constituents to keep on doing a lot. Proof that he didn't really care enough. That killed his credibility with me. I was hoping Harvey would go all out and use all city media outlets to get out the message that he's the best candidate hands down, but he didn't do that, which caused demise. Not to mention the voters were about as enthusiastic as a slug snail when it came time to help him win again. So both sides slacked off if you're pointing fingers.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-01T08:44:51-06:00
ID
78338
Comment

millhouse - Melton won because he was the best candidate for jackson's future. You blast melton, but you don't have the same smug for Harvey who literally sat on his ass pointed fingers at people. He had plenty of time to build up a strong image as Mayor, BUT, he didn't. He shuffled a few plans through the house before he left (Farish Street, King Edward, etc..) in hopes people would vote him back in based of that, WRONG. AND, if Frank waits eons to get things done in Jackson during his term, you can bet his ass will be out too. So sit back and enjoy the ride.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-01T08:55:29-06:00
ID
78339
Comment

chickjuice - "Harvey who literally sat on his ass pointed fingers at people. He had plenty of time to build up a strong image as Mayor, BUT, he didn't. He shuffled a few plans through the house before he left (Farish Street, King Edward, etc..) in hopes people would vote him back in based of that, WRONG. AND, if Frank waits eons to get things done in Jackson during his term, you can bet his ass will be out too." While I was not a supporter of Mayor Johnson, I understand that government is an exercise often of slow procession. One of many examples of governmentís slow procession will be realized by Melton in regarding his promise to rid Jackson of dilapidated houses in expedited contrast to Mayor Johnson. While the Johnson administration should have addressed dilapidated houses prior to the media blasting them, barring Melton managing to change state law(s) the slow procession will continue. LoL @ "He shuffled a few plans through the house before he left (Farish Street, King Edward, etc..) "

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-01T14:44:44-06:00
ID
78340
Comment

During the campaign, one of the local stations did some kind of truth watch on what the candidates were saying. They did a fact check on Johnson's claim that about 1200(?) dilapidated houses were demolished during his administration. It turned out that he actually did more than that. I'll see if I can find anything on the Web.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-03T20:31:43-06:00
ID
78341
Comment

Here it is.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-03T20:36:00-06:00
ID
78342
Comment

Did anyone else catch the inauguration? I wonder how many promises Melton will be able to fulfill. I also wonder if he will realize that some promises may be beyond his limitations.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-04T20:01:45-06:00
ID
78343
Comment

I think he knows, but I think we'll catch him trying to do it all. Anyway you look at it, it looks to be more exciting. :D

Author
Ironghost
Date
2005-07-04T20:35:01-06:00
ID
78344
Comment

Well, the excitement began in the middle of the night on Highway 80... http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=3555264&nav=1L7tblml Overview of inaugural speech: http://www.wlbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=3553258&nav=1L7tbkVl

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-05T08:05:49-06:00
ID
78345
Comment

I hope everyone had a good 4th of July. I do hope Frank Melton turns out to be the mayor Jackson needed for a long time. However, I am concerned about him being somewhat dictatorial about how he handles things. One thing that bothers me was a part of the education platform that was in the JFP: He said during the campaign that he would like to see spanking returned to schools and will arrest parents who show up at school complaining about their childrenís discipline. I'm not a parent and while I do believe children should be disciplined if they are acting up in school, how can you arrest a parent simply for coming to school and complaining about discipline? What if the parents feels like their child(ren) are being unfairly discipline? If I felt like my child was being treated unfairly when being disciplined, I should have the right to step and find out why. If I showed up threatening the teachers, principals, etc., arresting me would be proper.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2005-07-05T08:18:23-06:00
ID
78346
Comment

My guestion is how long before the other lamestreams get upset that WLBT is going to have all the Mayorial scoops. You can find dozens of articles not covered by WAPT, WJNT or C-L. Won't be a long honeymoon if Bert Case is your only cheerleader.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-07-05T08:29:55-06:00
ID
78347
Comment

I just hope that people realize that Frank won't be able to "do it all" in 4 years. He'll need at least 8. Harvey couldn't even "do it all" and he had 8 years. If Frank is in for at least 8 years, hopefully he can work some of that old tired blood out of the City Council so his hands won't be so tied up in red tape to get more done while he's in office.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-05T09:49:52-06:00
ID
78348
Comment

Perhaps we should start by defining "all," chickjuice. What is it that Mr. Melton will be able to do in eight years that he can't do in four? It'll make it easier to have a discussion if you get specific. And what are you referring to by "red tape"? Right now, your comments are too vague to comment on with any intelligence.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T09:53:14-06:00
ID
78349
Comment

I wonder how many promises Melton will be able to fulfill. If he fufills 50% he'll be in pace with Harvey. If he fufills 80%, then he's the man. I also wonder if he will realize that some promises may be beyond his limitations. I'm sure he realizes that. Nobody can do it alone though. He'll need help from others in the political arena to step up and do their part.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-05T09:53:15-06:00
ID
78350
Comment

Nobody can do it alone though. He'll need help from others in the political arena to step up and do their part. I think you missed L.W.'s point, chickjuice. I believe she meant LEGAL and CONSTITIONAL limitations. Correct me if I'm wrong, L.W. Of course, you could throw in financial, but that's a different direction to discuss. Right now, the biggest question about the "sweeps" is if they are constitutional.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T09:56:16-06:00
ID
78351
Comment

I should also add that not enough news was given in this WLBT story to even get a sense of what the "probable cause" for the sweeps might have been. Or, if the word "sweeps" is the right wordóit certainly doesn't fit Mr. Melton's description of just putting up to the store and seeing two carjacked cars. I wonder if WLBT has done their homework on what they, as the apparently designated TV outlet of the new administration, should be watching on for on the ground to ensure that these cases are going to be thrown out and result in lawsuits. The point here is to do them right for more than the TV cameras. When I was reporting in downtown Manhattan, the 6th precinct would regularly calls us to wait a couple blocks away from Washington Square Park as they "swept" in and shook down people for pot (they netted Joey Ramone one time). But it was all for the TV cameras and newspapers -- most people would get a Desk Appearance Ticket and go home. But it made it look like the precinct was "fighting drugs," even as the big dealers and suppliers continued to go unscathed. And, yes, lawsuits resulted. Just sayin'. Fighting crime is great, but only if it done right from the beginning. Ask the questions, all, so we don't have to pay for mistakes on the other end.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T10:01:33-06:00
ID
78352
Comment

I believe she meant LEGAL and CONSTITIONAL limitations. You're correct, Donna. Not everyone carries the same ideals as he does, and not necessarily in a negative way. For instance, he said he will hire young people to work for the city, but they won't get paid unless they behave themselves and go to church every Sunday. First of all, you can't allow someone to work and not pay them. Second, how does this plan line up with child labor laws? How much will they be able to do, and how will they be supervised? Third, he needs to clarify "church every Sunday"? If the young person come from a home that is not Christian, what will he want him/her to do? Another concern is the comment about guys pulling up their pants and giving their earrings to their sisters. Will there be a citywide dress code? What about freedom of expression? Plus, if there will be a hip-hop recording studio on Farish Street, what will the performers wear? Suits and ties with argyle socks?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-05T10:09:14-06:00
ID
78353
Comment

Perhaps we should start by defining "all," chickjuice. What is it that Mr. Melton will be able to do in eight years that he can't do in four? It'll make it easier to have a discussion if you get specific. I didn't see his inaguration speech so I don't know the "all" in his agenda. But if Farish Street, King Edward, Two Lakes projcectare any part of his focus, he'll need 8 years. And what are you referring to by "red tape"? Right now, your comments are too vague to comment on with any intelligence. Most times when "red tape" is used, it pertains to the filibusters that other politicians use to roadblock or stalemate decisions. That's what I'm refferring to.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-05T10:26:38-06:00
ID
78354
Comment

LW: "what will the performers wear? Suits and ties with argyle socks? Hey Yea! ;-) CJ: "If Frank is in for at least 8 years, hopefully he can work some of that old tired blood out of the City Council so his hands won't be so tied up in red tape to get more done while he's in office." Who's the tired blood? Three of the councilmen running were all supporters of Melton. Ben Allen likes him. In fact, today he compared Frank to Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan as the most charismatic people he's ever known! And, Crisler is talking like he is becoming a fan. Don't look for any old blood leaving anytime soon. Thankfully, some of these members will continue to keep the red tape up to keep a sense of decorum in our City. Example is the Byram vote and the fact that they will uphold the Hinds Co. only residency issue. Of course, you haven't addresses your swipes at Danks, so I'll see if you comment about this, cj.

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-07-05T10:30:23-06:00
ID
78355
Comment

I didn't see his inaguration speech Go to wlbt.com and you should be able to play some excerpts.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-05T10:37:29-06:00
ID
78356
Comment

Right now, the biggest question about the "sweeps" is if they are constitutional. bend the constitution a little. no harm in that. It needs to be done.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-05T10:45:40-06:00
ID
78357
Comment

bend the constitution a little. no harm in that. You're wrong in that, chick. Beyond the anti-Americanism of "bending" the Constitution is the basic problem that the charges end up not sticking and the city gets stuck with lawsuits. Doesn't pay off in the long run, much less makes us not live in the country we think we do. It's the citizenry's job to hold the administration accountable for doing these things right. And for the folks who say that we should give Mr. Melton a honeymoon, the answer is that he did "sweeps" int he middle of the night on his first day in office. That doesn't sound like he wants a honeymoon. And protecting the Constitution should never get a honeymoon. If there is anything liberals and conservatives can find "unity" in, it is that fact. Our Constitution is the only thing that stands between us and becoming one of those countries we like to belittle all the time.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T10:52:14-06:00
ID
78358
Comment

Hey, I just saw Ray Carter's name pop up. Ray, what questions should we be asking about the "sweeps" as far as you can tell? Any thoughts?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T10:54:20-06:00
ID
78359
Comment

A bit of a reality check on the costs of paying for crime-fighting.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T10:57:35-06:00
ID
78360
Comment

ladd - Did you know that it's a very real possiblity that Marshall Law will become common place in America? And when that happens(not if), the Constitution will be suspended anyway. Tom Ridge, Donald Rumsfeldenstein, and George Hitler Bush all agree. America is fast on it's way to becoming a third world country. Just as soon as we nothing to export, it's over. the Constitution has been a mere formality for a while now. the next terrorist act on our soil will condemn its very existence if George has his way.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-05T11:12:54-06:00
ID
78361
Comment

I personally wish chickjuice would get a grip, stay on topic and contribute more than unsupported sweeping claims or misinformed statements.

Author
thabian
Date
2005-07-05T12:53:33-06:00
ID
78362
Comment

enough is enough at some point chick were gonna need your edition of a dictionary youre saying that we should prepare to re-elect Melton just cause he needs 8 years. for the most part all you have done is state your abstract articulations of belief. was Johnson a good mayor dunno all i know is my opinion and as long as you state opinions i have no problem, however opinions are worthless unless they are informed opinions. and i have read little that would imply information. you should read or reread 1984 and see what happens when people just run around believing whatever a person says.

Author
skipp
Date
2005-07-05T15:00:45-06:00
ID
78363
Comment

then you have the nerve to say its nothing wrong with bending the constitution. i dont belive that i am an american. however there are certain laws that govern the fact that i was born here. none of them can be bended or broken to any ones benefit. i think youre like armstrong williams. hopefully youre getting paid (if you go to church every sunday) for doing this. better yet ladd bend the user agreement and stop allowing chick to post or view or even log on to the net.

Author
skipp
Date
2005-07-05T15:07:10-06:00
ID
78364
Comment

skipp - You take full advantage of Americas resources. How in the hell do you feel like you're not American? Are you an illegal immigrant then? If you were born in America, you're American. period. I don't care if your father was Kunta Kente. You're American. And my "opinions" are more than ANYTHING that you've stated since you've began replying in this topic. At least I'm not "wishing" to be Mayor as my contribution to this topic. And furthermore, it's shallow thinking like yours that has Mississippi in the outhouse of progress, not mine.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-05T15:41:49-06:00
ID
78365
Comment

I personally wish chickjuice would get a grip - check stay on topic - check and contribute more - check than unsupported sweeping claims or misinformed statements. cite them.

Author
chickjuice
Date
2005-07-05T15:43:05-06:00
ID
78366
Comment

Sigh, chick. Your comments are inconsistent and erratic, leading me to think you're just here trying to troll (piss people off). And if you write something like the following, how in hell do you expect people to take you seriously: Did you know that it's a very real possiblity that Marshall Law will become common place in America? And when that happens(not if), the Constitution will be suspended anyway. Tom Ridge, Donald Rumsfeldenstein, and George Hitler Bush all agree. America is fast on it's way to becoming a third world country. Just as soon as we nothing to export, it's over. the Constitution has been a mere formality for a while now. the next terrorist act on our soil will condemn its very existence if George has his way. I'm no fan of George Bush, but I even respect him enough to know he's not "Hitler." This is enough. I've warned you way more than three times. You're adding nothing but vitriol to the discussion.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T15:55:13-06:00
ID
78367
Comment

I don't have to cite them. Everything that you have written, save one or two posts, have been unsubstantiated claims or plain 'ole rhetoric. You seem less concerned with meaningful discussion and more than willing to intentionally antagonize. And for what? I haven't the slighted idea unless you are just wanting to deflect from the real issues at hand. In any case, if you make a claim, back it up. Example: "I believe Frank Melton will deal with crime in Jackson better than the past mayor, because he has said "a", "b" and "c" and his proven record doing "d" has shown he knows how to deal effectively with the criminal element." One would think with all that "wisdom" you were talking about earlier, that you could participate in a discussion like an adult.

Author
thabian
Date
2005-07-05T16:02:41-06:00
ID
78368
Comment

Interesting photo of Mr. Melton. Question: Do mayors get badges? http://wlbt.static.worldnow.com/images/3555264_SS.jpg

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T16:13:42-06:00
ID
78369
Comment

Do mayors get badges? They do now...;-)

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-05T16:53:08-06:00
ID
78370
Comment

Clearly. ;-) But, seriously, who knows the answer to this? It is common for a mayor to be issued a badge? Are they considered the top law enforcement officer, much as the president is the commander-in-chief of the armed services? What is the law on this?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T16:54:59-06:00
ID
78371
Comment

Donna, they're having a City Council meeting tonight. Maybe you could stop by and ask someone.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-05T16:56:52-06:00
ID
78372
Comment

We'll check on it independently. But I am curious to know what folks out there think/know about the practice of mayors wearing badges. It's kind of a new one for me. I don't remember Rudy Giuliani wearing a badge and such, but I could be wrong.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T17:01:50-06:00
ID
78373
Comment

Isn't the MBN chief issued a badge? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-05T17:01:52-06:00
ID
78374
Comment

I wondered if it was that badge, too. But it seems that he couldn't still wear it, right? At least not officially.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T17:02:41-06:00
ID
78375
Comment

I thought he woul have to return the MBN badge when he was replaced. He could have asked for the badge, or it could be honorary. Inquiring minds need to know...

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-05T17:04:38-06:00
ID
78376
Comment

Hey, I still have my old Neshoba County license plate, too. But it's not on my car.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T17:05:30-06:00
ID
78377
Comment

My first thought was that it was an old photo, from his tenure as MBN chief. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-05T17:06:38-06:00
ID
78378
Comment

I think Melton (and his badge) should follow the example set by this Mayor of a town in Canada: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1071066905478_44/?hub=Canada

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-07-05T17:07:28-06:00
ID
78379
Comment

I'm watching Channel 12, and they said he had a badge, a bulletproof vest, and a gun. He's been given some liberties somehow - I just wonder how.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-05T17:09:35-06:00
ID
78380
Comment

Interesting. I wonder what the laws are. Can City Council folks arm themselves and go on raids wearing badges -- or just the mayor?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T17:12:25-06:00
ID
78381
Comment

BTW, the police spokesman today told us he has no information on this sweep last night, so we have tried to get info for y'all. Will keep trying.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T17:13:19-06:00
ID
78382
Comment

I should probably add, all, and I suspect those posting understand this: These kind of questions are important to make sure that the sweeps are constitutional and that the charges will later stickóand not come back and bite us in the ass in the form of expensive lawsuits. Much can be learned from Giuliani days, and as much has to do with what not to do as what to do. I assume the administration has taken the time in advance to ensure that all their "sweeps" actions are constitutional, but it is still up to citizens to ask the questions of those acting on our behalf. Of course, it's hard to do that when JPD's spokesman doesn't have info about it the next day.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T17:18:34-06:00
ID
78383
Comment

Did Mike Moore wear a badge when he rode along for those drug raids? I know he had a gun and bulletproof vest. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-05T17:20:19-06:00
ID
78384
Comment

BTW, during the news segment, the reporter asked a guy in handcuffs, "What'd they get you for?" The reply was, "Being stupid." I had to chuckle at that one...

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-05T17:25:28-06:00
ID
78385
Comment

I dunno. It's a good question, though. It seems that a badge would carry a special cachet, but maybe all mayors get their own badge. That goes back to my original question. Also, I just read Eric Stringfellow's column today about Melton; he is very enamored with the new mayor, even as he pointed out some shortcomings: During a luncheon with James Covington, a backer of outgoing Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., Melton extended an olive branch before addressing Covington's question about Melton's take on the city's minority participation program. After several attempts at the two-step, Melton finally admitted what was becoming obvious: "I don't know what the hell you are talking about," he said, bringing a mixture of laughter and appreciation. Clearly Melton, who took the oath of office Monday, must become acquainted with this program, if he is to keep his diverse coalition intact. But his candor was refreshing. "What you see is what you get," Melton said during his encouraging inaugural address. As a reminder, James Covington was the businessman sitting in for Mayor Johnson until he arrived at the JAN forum that I moderated -- the one that Mr. Melton walked out of because he couldn't sit next to Mr. Covington because he had been "a felon" when he was young. It's good to see them mending fences.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T17:27:48-06:00
ID
78386
Comment

Also, I can't resist saying: Remember the good ole days when conservatives use to worry about trivial stuff like constitutional searches and police states? I'm starting to miss the black-helicopter paranoia days, back before Gitmo and Abu Ghraib changed the rules. Now, it seems that so many people just assume that only bad guys will get caught up in wide nets. Of course, there is no historical basis for that assumption. Party on.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T17:37:01-06:00
ID
78387
Comment

I'm glad to hear that too. Melton admitted that he has to overcome his lack of patience and Type A personality during the inauguration. I can hear his wife on the phone with him: "Baby, you shouldn't have said that."

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-05T17:39:20-06:00
ID
78388
Comment

;-) I think the best way for Mr. Melton to transition from the campaign to his administration is to be as open as humanly possible with people. Answer the questions, all of them, explain what he's doing, what legal advice he's gotten and so on. It's not like people are going to stop asking; if anything, questions are only going to increase. I hope he very quickly gets his Public Information Strategy up and running. And it has to flow two waysónot just outward with PR stuff that he wants to share, but inward with questions from citizens. The public sector is a different animal. And don't forget that Mayor Johnson's problems with the media, and attempts to control what was reported about him (and their turning against him as a result), was ultimately his demise. A public official simply cannot pick and choose the questions they answer. It never works, and it can't in a democracy. That's rather common sense.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T17:44:07-06:00
ID
78389
Comment

Agreed on the decline of libertarianism in the Republican Party. It's depressing. I like the Cato Institute style of Republicanism--not something I generally agree with (not enough emphasis on taking care of the poor and marginalized), but at least in alignment with the principles of democracy and civil liberties. But now the Republican Party seems to be controlled primarily by warmongers and theocrats, and their commitment to traditional conservatism stops with low taxes (which seems to be something they do in order to get more votes and contributions). I suspect many of them would be happier if we were a Christianist answer to Saudi Arabia, rather than the secular democracy we are today. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-05T18:16:02-06:00
ID
78390
Comment

Agreed, Tom. I always say I would be a libertarian straight-up if companies would especially follow the idea of self-regulation that the utopiettes subscribe to. (You know how these "ideal" ideologies work in reality, all of 'em.) So I settle for a belief in a mixture of ideology that rests on a strong libertarian foundation, but still allows government to help take care of the poor and marginalized as you put it (as long as the assistance is smart and focused on creating opportunity and confidence, and held accountable). And I agree with you that, in essence, the Republican Party has gone straight to hell under current ideologues. It's as if they don't even know what they're supposed to be aboutóthey're just corporate apologists these days. Most Repubs seem more willing to argue for a corporations' First Amendment rights than they will an individual's. Egad. No true and smart conservative/libertarian would support general police "sweeps" and loosening of constitutional liberties because they wouldn't be dumb or egocentric enough to believe the strategy couldn't be turned on them, at the very least. But too many folks are armchair libertarians ó that is, they are all for small government when it limits other folks' access to the government and freedom, but not their own. Their libertarianism is choked by their own bigotry against other groups. Which, of course, is not libertarianism. It's some sort of pop-moralistic, and often racist, ideology that is focused on the self, not the populace in general. Truth is, I could fairly easily be a Republican if they would get back to their roots ó or, being that I'm not a party kind of gal, I would draw as much from that party as any other. But, as it is, the prevailing Republican "wisdom" is anything but. But I do admire the good and real Repubs trying to get the party back to its roots. I can't imagine having that kind of patience in a Bush-Rove big-government GOP that outs CIA agents and condones torture and doesn't give detainees a right to a fair trial. Whoa, buddy. That ain't the America I studied in civics class. Folks have to remember that if they value the Constitution, it has to apply to everyone equally by its very definition. There is simply no getting around that. I might hold my nose everytime I defend the Klan's right to march, but I do it. Why? Because I believe in American ideals and realize they're not just for my viewpoint or people who look like me or live in my neighborhood.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T18:29:35-06:00
ID
78391
Comment

Another point and I'm out: It is really a sign of how far off the deep-right end the GOP has gone when you read or hear them calling a publication like ours the "far left" and such. I just laugh out loud at that characterization and think of the East Villagers who used to consider me "yuppie scum" because I didn't bash the police every week in print. I've known many people on the blind far left, and I don't tend to get along that well with them, either. I don't particularly like "liberal" enclaves like Boulder, and I've had my share of dust-ups with folks on the actual far left. But my point here is what kind of friggin' skewed perception have you allowed yourself to develop to try to position the radical right against, say, the owners of this paper, which has more concern with many actual conservative ideals that the folks trying to push us off the left spectrum. I mean, it is truly patently absurd and anti-intelligent, and I wouldn't want to be someone with that small a mind. The really sad part of it to me is for a corporate GOP to have emerged that tries to paint anyone concerned with individual rights, local free enterprise and human compassion as some left-wing nutballs. That is why that the-left-loves-crime columnist dude in the Sun was so awful. I really feel sorry for someone who has locked themselves in such a small box and strikes out at others in such a way ó especially people who believe to our core in the powers of (actual) free enterprise and how it can individuals and communities. And I guess they can't even see how they're presenting themselves when they do that. I just can't imagine living in such a tiny world that they believe that you cannot *care* about people unless you're somem left-wing nutball communist. That's rhetoric right out of the Jim Crow days, but these guys seems so poorly read (on their own state's history, at least) that they don't even know it. Alas, I rave. But my whole point is: Would the *real* conservatives please stand up? Y'all are becoming near extinct these days in the rush to theocracy.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T18:48:55-06:00
ID
78392
Comment

I have a Sparta, Mississippi police badge. Does that make a cop? NO! Does giving Mayor Melton a shot gun, a JPD police badge and uniform make him a cop? NO! I wonder, if I could make a citizens arrest against Frank Melton for impersonating a Jackson Police Officer? I can't wait and see Frank getting in a fight with Kenneth Stokes. You know it will happen soon.

Author
cool cowboy
Date
2005-07-05T18:51:07-06:00
ID
78393
Comment

I have a Sparta, Mississippi police badge. Does that make a cop? NO! Does giving Mayor Melton a shot gun, a JPD police badge and uniform make him a cop? NO! I wonder, if I could make a citizens arrest against Frank Melton for impersonating a Jackson Police Officer? I can't wait and see Frank getting in a fight with Kenneth Stokes. You know it will happen soon.

Author
cool cowboy
Date
2005-07-05T18:51:19-06:00
ID
78394
Comment

Maybe, cowboy. But I hear that Mr. Melton and Mr. Stokes are allies. I can't swear to it, though, but they do have the Mill Street (Jackson Advocate) connection, as does Mr. Bluntson. I might predict a triumvirate of sorts, at least on some issues.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-05T18:54:01-06:00
ID
78395
Comment

Is the mayor a member of Jackson's police auxiliary?

Author
Ex
Date
2005-07-05T20:25:22-06:00
ID
78396
Comment

Donna, I think the sad truth is that by the standards of white suburban Mississippi, we probably are far left. We didn't vote for Bush; we don't vote for Thad n' Trent; we support gay marriage; we're at least nominally pro-choice; if we believe in hell at all, we don't think everybody who isn't like us goes there; and we don't support stapling a copy of the Ten Commandments to the forehead of every public school kid. But I know what you mean. I call myself liberal in most cases, but put me in a room full of real liberals from New York or Berkeley and I'll stick out like a sore thumb. Folks on the anti-globalization left tend to like me even less than they like conservatives. Folks on the feminist left don't like the fact that I entertain doubts about abortion, even though I am pro-choice. Democratic loyalists don't understand why I don't get all hyped up about Ronnie Shows and the like. Heck, at this very moment I'm getting reamed by some folks because I don't support church divestments directed against Israel. I don't think either of us will be getting our party stripes anytime soon. But you know what? That's okay. Wonderful line from a song: "And blessed are the few who forgive what you do / and the fewer who don't even care." Far off the beaten track from Melton and searches, which I'm opinionless about until I hear more details. My first inclination is to dismiss it as a publicity stunt, but let's see what the man has to say for himself. His whole principle on "The Bottom Line" was that everybody seemed to know who the suppliers were, the corners where the dealers and the prostitutes worked, and he couldn't get action on any of it. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't noticed this myself, so why is that? I don't think it's because JPD is corrupt or anything; maybe it's to protect their informants, maybe it's because raids would jeopardize ongoing investigations, maybe there's a risk of some kind of political fallout, maybe it would actually increase drug-related violence in Jackson if the supply lines were cut. I don't know for sure. But Melton's raids could represent a drastic change in crimefighting philosophy rather than a dismissive attitude towards the Constitution. Or it could be a publicity stunt. ("Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!") The badge thing doesn't bug me much, assuming he isn't technically doing anything illegal (and I have to believe he's too smart for that). He can wear a leather bustier with admiral stripes for all I care; as long as he does his job right (and that means not putting asterisks in the Constitution), he gets a thumbs-up from me. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-05T20:31:13-06:00
ID
78397
Comment

(Let's make that "a leather bustier and a captain's hat"; it reads better. Oh, would I ever wear out an "edit" button. Cheers, TH)

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-05T20:33:58-06:00
ID
78398
Comment

Tom, I've taken the wait-and-see attitude also. However, I must admit that the TV clips on the raid woke me up better than coffee ever could. I'm just praying, wishing, hoping that he gets it right. BTW, I'm gonna hunt you down. Now I have a picture in my head of Melton wearing a leather bustier! Wonder if it lifts and separates...:-P

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-05T20:41:09-06:00
ID
78399
Comment

Sorry for this tangent, folks, but....... Agreed Tom & Donna! Anyone who thinks this board is far left has either (A) Never lived outside the Jackson metropolitan area (B) Never lived more than 200 miles or so from Highway 80 (starts at Savannah and goes straight west through Montgomery, through Jackson, and on through to Tyler, TX and beyond) (C) Never lived in a metropolitan area bigger than, say, Baton Rouge (D) Even if none of the above apply, they never bothered to surround themselves with large groups of people outside the Deep South norm. If you want to see REAL leftists, take a drive to Atlanta and Austin -- THAT is where you'll find LOTS of them (anarchists, leftover bonafide Marxist-Leninists, hard core pacifists, people who throw blood on people wearing fur coats, stop signs altered by stickers to say "STOP (EATING ANIMALS)". I saw plenty of those even in Memphis, Tennessee (!), and they're likely a lot in New Orleans as well. Now if you can find A LOT of that stuff in Fondren and Belhaven, people -- THEN maybe we can talk. Until then, get out and see more of the world!!!! Even Bush won a most of the precincts in this section of town, though he only about 55-65% of the vote here.

Author
Philip
Date
2005-07-05T20:55:02-06:00
ID
78400
Comment

We now return you to our regularly scheduled program! (Frank Melton's raid and the issues surrounding it - or anything else related to Melton you'd like to comment about)

Author
Philip
Date
2005-07-05T20:59:29-06:00
ID
78401
Comment

Hmmm. Didn't Bush lose Jackson? I seem to remember us as a deep blue dot in a sea of red. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-05T21:00:18-06:00
ID
78402
Comment

L.W., I aim to please. :P And you better believe I'll be keeping an eye on this business with the raid. But my suspicion is that it was either a publicity stunt or a decision to bite the bullet on something that had been a possibility for some time. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-05T21:02:28-06:00
ID
78403
Comment

Hmmm. Didn't Bush lose Jackson? I seem to remember us as a deep blue dot in a sea of red. In the county-by-county map I've seen, Hinds County is a bluish dot. The bright blue dot southwest of Hinds County would appear to be Claiborne and Jefferson counties. The Delta's just about as bluish as Hinds County, and probably for more or less the same reason (lots of black people). There's a county a bit north of Hinds (looks like it might be Holmes) that's bluer than Hinds. Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-07-06T04:02:58-06:00
ID
78404
Comment

Could it be Madison County? lol...Just kidding....

Author
cool cowboy
Date
2005-07-06T06:47:22-06:00
ID
78405
Comment

Is that badge picture real? If so, cool beans. Frank looks ready for combat. And if if I'm not mistaken Bush won Mississippi in totality. the red states(blue=dems). That map you posted is incorrect, tim. here's the real map: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/statemapredblue.png

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-06T06:56:27-06:00
ID
78406
Comment

"I don't remember Rudy Giuliani wearing a badge and such, but I could be wrong." Giuliani, lawsuits or not, is a much more charismatic and smart leader then to have to pull some kind of Napoleonic stunt. If you lead, lead by delegating responsibility to those in charge and let them do their job. The Atlanta Braves didn't start winning untl Turner gave up "control" of the team and let the GM run the team. But, he was fun to watch in the meantime!

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-07-06T08:01:09-06:00
ID
78407
Comment

Jocelyn, your map is not very defined as it doesn't show the County by County vote winner. This is a much more important map because it shows areas that may have voted differently then the rest of a state and for future eletion marketing of a party or candidate. In MS, the "Blue" counties begin just south of Memphis and run through the Delta along the River. Then it turns right into Hinds County and skips a few counties as it runs East to Montgomery, Alabama and into Albany, GA. Regardless, isn't this about Frank Melton?

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-07-06T08:09:28-06:00
ID
78408
Comment

My guess is the Mayor can be apart of the police department, as the chief executive officer of the city. Ditto did move his office to the department. There is a chance that he will get himself killed or hurt as more criminals wait to see if they can get the Mayor to come out for them. You could earn some street cred that way. I like some of what he is doing; but, Donna points out the harm behind these raids and how "conservatives" should be outraged if they were "conservative." Amen to that. The Rep's have no idea what the foundation of their party is except that it will be Christian. And, they are the ones who should be screaming separation of "church and state" except in institutions that already have various symbols in place. They are the ones in the name of free market and capitalism that shouldn't have allowed a baptist judge to rule that sex toys are illegal in MS - meaning a person (though the ruling was meant to be aimed at women) would need a prescription for a sexual aide device. Yeah right! They got those behind the counter at Walgreens! LOL!!!!

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-07-06T08:26:01-06:00
ID
78409
Comment

tortoise, the "election marketing" worked to perfection. Candidates need/should campaign everywhere they can regardless of where their used to campaigning in the past. I can say that Mississippi is total Demorat but if the voting booth says differently then I have been proven wrong and that's ok with me. The map I put up is all one needs to know who won where, period. If Mississippi voted majority Republican(red), then that's what the majority of this state is, Republican. Back to Frank...I applaud the "sweeps" that Frank is doing. He knows first hand where the druggies and dealers are so hopefully he's hitting those spots early and often. Some call him a cowboy, I call him a man on a mission...to clean up this city. People who assume the worst or at least a detrimental mis-step by the new Mayor are pitiful individuals who'll use a anything short of a hang nail as a death sentence for our newly elected Mayor. keyword "elected". ;o) Joss

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-06T09:09:06-06:00
ID
78410
Comment

Of course, Bush didn't take Mississippi in "totality." Yes, he got the electoral votes, but a too-little-told story last fall was that John Kerry drew more of the 29-and-under vote here in Mississippi than than anywhere else in the South. Also, you cannot post full articles here without permission of the author. Thus, I am deleting the article you posted above. You can post a paragraph from it and a link if you wish, but please do not violate copyright law here. As for the "sweeps," no one is "assuming the worst." That's really assigning silly motive in the case of people who are interested in making sure that individual rights are guarded -- and that charges actually stick. Do not come here and call "pitiful" people who do not believe that the Constitution can be pushed aside by anyone. Talk about issues if you like, but leave off the condescension, nastiness and name-calling, J. That's in violation of the User Agreement.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T09:29:34-06:00
ID
78411
Comment

The Clarion-Ledger today has a story on the legality of the midnight police sweeps Monday night. It sounds like not all the business owners are happy. A Mississippi College professor said they were probably legal, but came close to the line. The Attorney General's office wouldn't comment on the legality. I found this last part interesting: Anderson Jacob Ray, spokesman for the state Attorney General's office, would not comment on violations of civil rights during the sweep, but he said "a judge must decide the legality of their actions." Residents say they hope the crime sweeps will decrease juvenile crime. John C. Williams said he supports Melton's crime initiative. "There's too many folks walking the area not doing anything, and too many guns on the street," he said. "They should continue the (sweeps) instead of wait for something to happen." "Too many guns on the street"? What are they supposed to do about that under state law, I wonder? You have to remember that Giuliani's crackdowns were based on strong gun-control laws. It will be interesting to see what the charges in all these end up being and how well they stick. You do have to have laws to charge people with. Law enforcement doesn't happen in a vacuum. Also interesting that they passed the curfew law yesterday 7-0. That's a switch for Ben Allen, being that a white Northeast Jackson is suing the city for enforcing it against their daughter. Did anyone see the WJTV video of the raids Monday night. There was a 16-year-old kid held face down on a car by police while Melton lectured him. You could clearly see his face, and the cameras made no effort to obscure his identity. The kid, apparently, was riding (or drivign? not clear) in one of the stolen cars. The question is: Was he treated correctly, both by the police and the media? If he was in a stolen car, clearly he needed to be taken in, turned over to juvenile authories, parents summonsed, given an attorney. But it was intriguing to see the videotape of this kid being *questioned* (of a fashion) for the TV cameras. Also, the Ledge stories mentioned roadblocks ... what are they searching for? How are they being done? There is such so much MISSING from these stories that you can't tell whether the raids passed muster or not. Is that intentional, or just incompetence? Who knows?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T09:54:29-06:00
ID
78412
Comment

well lets see badge 2.99 bullet proof vest 129.99 hat to the back... priceless

Author
skipp
Date
2005-07-06T09:54:31-06:00
ID
78413
Comment

Last night's sweep netted no arrests. They credit news of Monday's crime sweep for keeping criminals off the streets.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T09:57:58-06:00
ID
78414
Comment

LADD: The Clarion-Ledger today has a story on the legality of the midnight police sweeps Monday night. It sounds like not all the business owners are happy. A Mississippi College professor said they were probably legal, but came close to the line. The Attorney General's office wouldn't comment on the legality. I found this last part interesting: [quote] "Too many guns on the street"? What are they supposed to do about that under state law, I wonder? You have to remember that Giuliani's crackdowns were based on strong gun-control laws. It will be interesting to see what the charges in all these end up being and how well they stick. You do have to have laws to charge people with. Law enforcement doesn't happen in a vacuum. Very interesting, re: the police sweeps. If the article is accurate, then Melton et al. have not done anything illegal, as per Prof. Steffey (who is a great guy, BTW). I would have to look it up to cite the proper authority, but I think one has a decreased expectation of privacy in a hotel room (as opposed to a private home/apartment), and in any case, the cops can knock on a hotel room door; but without probable cause or permission from the occupant, they can't barge in. Of course, 'probable cause' can be an amorphous concept, and can also be fabricated depending on the situation. On the flip side, however, I have no doubt that the hotels they 'swept' are havens of crime. Assuming the details of the article are accurate, I applaud Melton's efforts. As for guns on the street, there are federal firearms laws that deal with stolen or black-market gun possession, and of course using any gun (legally-owned or not) to commit a crime results in stiff penalties. Is the problem "too many guns in the street," or is it "too many stolen/black market guns on the street?" I believe that the vast majority of crimes are committed with stolen/black market handguns.

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-07-06T10:33:43-06:00
ID
78415
Comment

Your opinions are interesting, Buck. However, feel free to cite some sources for your more sweeping statements and to help educate us on the issues. For one, you're vastly over-simplifying the problem faced by law enforcement in Mississippi when it comes to both taking guns from criminals and then having something to charge them with. The truth doesn't always match the ideal on this one. I think one has a decreased expectation of privacy in a hotel room Ooo, that fact might freak out some N-JAMMERS. ;-) Seriously, it would be great if you would find the proper authority on that, as you call it. I don't doubt your statement, but I'd love to see the legal tests and such that determine what is acceptable and not for these types of searches. Help us sort through it all, being that you're an attorney interested in individual rights. And, by the way Buck, many folks conveniently forget it, but even people who live, hang out or pass through "havens of crime" have constitutional rights. They are not suspended because it is a "bad area," for goodness sake. You know that. Come on. the vast majority of crimes are committed with stolen/black market handguns. If you don't include domestic crimes, that might be true. Again, source such a sweeping statement of fact. And don't forget: Everyone's "law-abiding" until they commit a crime.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T11:03:55-06:00
ID
78416
Comment

Actually, our own reporting recently shows that a goodly number of the guns on the streets in Chicago, for instance, are "grey market" guns bought at gun shows in Mississippi. http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/politics/comments.php?id=5724_0_41_0_C The point with NYC/Chicago-style gun laws is simple -- if a cop sees a gun, he's got probable cause. Right now in Jackson, I assume that isn't the case; you've got to get the gun-possessor on some other probable cause (unless having a gun AND driving on Hwy 80 is probable cause, or having a gun AND playing loud music is probable cause) before you can check for an "illegal" gun, which would be a stolen or "black market" gun, not a gun-show-no-waiting-period gun, which would be legal. Am I wrong to read it that way?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2005-07-06T11:29:45-06:00
ID
78417
Comment

Here you go all nice and neat: The truth about Bush and Kerry... http://www.infowars.com/print/Secret_societies/kerry_bush_sb.htm This article was in response to someone stating Bush is Hitler. Read for yourselves and see if he's at least a candidate. I don't think so but this is indeed an intriguing article.

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-06T11:38:49-06:00
ID
78418
Comment

The point with NYC/Chicago-style gun laws is simple -- if a cop sees a gun, he's got probable cause. If those guns found are legally owned and the cops take the gun and the guy to jail, they are violating the 2nd amendment. I would really hate to be in Guilliani's shoes right now as I'm almost sure his beat cops have violated this amendment more than once. Imagine the lawsuits against the NYPD on the books right now for this type of thing..WOW. Those types of gestapo tactics are not welcomed in Jackson. Although me not have a choice in the matter.

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-06T11:48:15-06:00
ID
78419
Comment

LADD:For one, you're vastly over-simplifying the problem faced by law enforcement in Mississippi when it comes to both taking guns from criminals and then having something to charge them with. The truth doesn't always match the ideal on this one. Possession of a stolen/black market handgun has serious consequences, particularly if the individual in possession is a felon. I will look up the relevant statutes (federal and/or state) later. As for the hotel room deal, I will look it up. Certainly people in "bad areas" enjoy the same constitutional rights as everyone else, I didn't state or imply otherwise. Again, if the details of the article are accurate, then noone's constitutional rights were violated. And Melton's first 'sweep' apparently resulted in several arrests. I see that as a positive. Do you disagree? Everyone is law-abiding until they commit a crime, yes (or, more specifically, get caught doing so). . . would you have it some other way?

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-07-06T11:48:31-06:00
ID
78420
Comment

To my knowledge, NY gun-control laws have been deemed constitutional, Joycelon. Obviously, it is constitutional to regulate guns for public-safety reasons, even with the broadest interpretation of the Second Amendment, which the courts haven't taken for the most part. So believing it is a violation of the Second Amendment doesn't magically make it so. ;-) That said, it is very important to understand that Rudy's shakedowns were based on those gun laws in part; however, he had serious probably cause and other issues attached that apply regardless of gun laws. And I think he had problems applying the gun-control laws too broadly, which makes complete sense. You can't just shake down bad neighborhoods. Buck, I'm not questioning whether possession of stolen guns have serious consequences; of course they do. You're seriously baiting and switching my point. What is more interesting is whether "most" crimes are committed with them as you asserted without backup. See Todd's point about gun shows. As for the "several arrests," Buck, they are "good" if they were "good arrests," constitutionally done and stick -- and do not cost us lawsuit money later. Any arrest is not a good arrest, obviously. At least not in America. I don't live in a country based on ideals that any arrest is a good thing, no matter how it's done and whether or not it sticks. Do you? It's also clear that a lot of details are missing from the article -- including what I saw in the video on WJTV last night. I'm not sure I'm going to trust any of the lamestream media to give us everything we need to know to figure out what's constitutional and what's not. No, I wouldn't have it any other way (re: "law-abiding"). You're not seeing my point, but that's OK. That's typical. ;-) It involves gun laws if you want to ponder it a bit. Buck: Certainly people in "bad areas" enjoy the same constitutional rights as everyone else, I didn't state or imply otherwise. Yes, you did: Of course, 'probable cause' can be an amorphous concept, and can also be fabricated depending on the situation. On the flip side, however, I have no doubt that the hotels they 'swept' are havens of crime.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T11:59:11-06:00
ID
78421
Comment

Here's the gun story Todd refers to. I highly recommend that everyone read it and consider the points in it. You don't have to agree on every oint, but at least know the bigger picture before you start, falsely, pointing fingers at stolen weapons (presumably by thugs in bad areas who listen to hip-hop and wear earrings) as the only problem.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T12:04:29-06:00
ID
78422
Comment

My statement above refers to the fact that the concept of "probable cause" generally can be and sometimes is fabricated by cops in order to get arrests. That sort of misconduct, ideally, is used as a defense in any resulting criminal trial. That is quite different than saying that the targets of the searches in West Jackson two nights ago do not enjoy the same constitutional rights as other individuals.

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-07-06T12:08:27-06:00
ID
78423
Comment

Speaking of the sweeps... If I remember correctly (been on the road for 6 hours driving before I watched the news @ 10), I saw some things that, well, were at the very least shocking: - a minor's face - a minor being asked questions (without a guardian present from what I could tell) by Melton directly - Melton telling the minor that he'd double his time if he was lying Now, first of all, I think these types of shakedowns can be an excellent method of deterring crime (by some). So, I'm not poking at that topic. I'm curious if a minor's face can be shown with no verdict or consent of a guardian... Usually, they tend to pixelize minors especially when guilt has not been determined (not saying he's innocent). Also, does Melton have any power to interrogate? Further, can Melton double his time or is this simply grand-standing for the cameras or an idle threat? Again, I'm not knocking the arrests (sounds like they got some much needed work done). I'm moreso curious about the media's tactics (showing a minor on TV with no guardian) and Melton making threats about doubling the minor's time and asking questions in the first place. I'd like to say 'keep it up' but could we please have Melton back at City Hall doing more practical Mayoral duties like LOWERING OUR TAXES and INCREASING OUR TAX BASE rather than running around making photo-ops and idle threats that will be hard to accomplish?

Author
kaust
Date
2005-07-06T12:19:32-06:00
ID
78424
Comment

Obviously, it is constitutional to regulate guns for public-safety reasons, even with the broadest interpretation of the Second Amendment, which the courts haven't taken for the most part. So believing it is a violation of the Second Amendment doesn't magically make it so. That's a no-brainer. I'm talking about abuse of law here which happens all too often in NYC

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-06T12:39:37-06:00
ID
78425
Comment

LOWERING OUR TAXES and INCREASING OUR TAX BASE These too will be hard to accomplish.

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-06T12:42:13-06:00
ID
78426
Comment

Hmmm. My thoughts: - The kid's face should have been pixellated. Jeez. I saw that too (in the streaming video version), and thought it was in very poor taste. - The raids don't sound unconstitutional. Some things they did sound like they're close to being unconstitutional, but law enforcement officials are allowed and expected to go flush up against that line as long as they don't cross it. That's why we need good courts to make sure that line is in the right place. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-06T13:48:46-06:00
ID
78427
Comment

Tom, I assume it's a matter of media ethics or is it a law -- showing a minor? I know there are laws against publishing people's photographs without expressed permission but am not sure how this translates to criminal cases and minors in general. Like I said, nearly every bit of media I've seen involving the arrest of a minor has involved that minor being blurred or pixelated. I assume if COPS does it, the local media would want to follow suit to prevent potential lawsuits. I'd still like to know if a mayor has the right to question a criminal (especially a minor) without a guardian present and to threaten the minor with "double time"? Not trying to attack on that... Simply want to know for the sake of knowing.

Author
kaust
Date
2005-07-06T13:56:50-06:00
ID
78428
Comment

What did anyone really expect of Melton after that campaign? Seems like "the people" of jackson are getting exactly what they voted for: the beginnings of a police state in exchange for what they call safety... until the cops knock on their door.

Author
Johann
Date
2005-07-06T14:06:26-06:00
ID
78429
Comment

The issue is consent. COPS actually has to get permission to show every face it doesn't pixellate (yes, those shirtless drunks actually sign model release forms), and this is to prevent lawsuits. If the kid said "Sure, show my face," then that would probably be enough to cover their rears. I know kids get Miranda protection, but I don't know how that applies to guardians. My suspicion is that as long as a suspect is informed of his or her right to have a guardian or lawyer present, then anything that suspect says may be used in court. I don't know much about the law vis-a-vis the mayor interrogating suspects, but I suspect the police could bring in Bozo the Clown to interrogate suspects if they wanted to. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-06T14:10:06-06:00
ID
78430
Comment

I'm looking more into the minor issue; I was very surprised to see that happen on camera. To me, as a member of the fourth estate, the most unconscionable part was that WJTV SHOWED THAT VIDEO. That was friggin' unbelievable to me; just wait until that happens to a child from a North Jackson family. There will be hell to pay. Police ride-alongs are legal, but the media cannot go into private homes without permission. Now at least question here is *ethical*, though. The media have been loosening their policies about identifying/showing minors' faces in recent years, largely thanks to the school-shooting hysteria of the 1990s. And many media outlets have a policy that if they are tried by adults, then it's OK. (I disagree for the most part.) BUT, I've never seen anything like that video shown by a TV station. I think it's unconscionable. WJTV had no idea whether that kid is guilty; where was his attorney? That kid now has that video attached to his face, no matter what happens next. That TV station should be ashamed of itself, regardless of legality. There was no reason to show that kid's face. Even if Mr. Melton convinced them to broadcast his late-night tirade to that kid to the world in order to "send a message," then use his voice and not the kid's face. Simply unbelievable. I don't know how people who work for these corporate nightmares of media outlets sleep at night.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T14:24:24-06:00
ID
78431
Comment

As for Miranda, Tom, under what circumstances can a minor waive their "right to remain silent" while a bunch of TV cameras and a mayor in a SWAT uniform is hovering over them? There are special considerations for minors, and should be, even if too many people out there think that "thugs" have no rights. Some cue "America the Beautiful" or something. We need some sharp reminders, and fast, about why we're different from all those countries we love to hate.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T14:27:20-06:00
ID
78432
Comment

BTW, WLBT showed it as well... I'm sure WAPT did too... So, I'm guessing it was an intentional show to "set an example". On one hand, I think this would and should scare the heck out of young criminals and would-be criminals.... But, I can't help but think this could have been done with pixelation or blurring of the face or simply by filming from the a different perspective. I'm not apologizing for his activities and think he needs to be handled appropriately. Still, it will be much, much harder to rehabilitate this young man at this point... Isn't that also part of the justice system? Rehabilitation and reintroduction to society?

Author
kaust
Date
2005-07-06T14:58:07-06:00
ID
78433
Comment

Knol - it might be better if the people shown on the news were found guilty of an actual crime first - before we start talking about rehabilitation. Thank goodness we live in a country where one is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Author
thabian
Date
2005-07-06T15:03:36-06:00
ID
78434
Comment

Donna, my personal suspicion is that Melton and/or the officers knew the kid and that he was being dressed down, not interrogated. I doubt anything he said would have been admitted into evidence under those circumstances. The thing with WJTV and the suspect's face surprised me, too--but if the kid gave permission, then their butts are probably covered. The ethical dimensions of what the TV station did are another matter entirely, of course. The issue here is privacy and consent, not due process. Whether the kid's face appears on TV or not has no bearing on whether or not he gets convicted. The police can't go into occupied hotel rooms without either permission or probable cause; but if the police arrest someone in a hotel room, the media can enter the room. The suspects have no ownership over the hotel room unless they have a reasonable expectation of privacy; I suspect, as a non-lawyer, that arrest removes that expectation in much the same way that, say, a tornado knocking down an outside wall would. All of this is aggressive stuff, but I haven't seen anything unconstitutional yet. What makes us different from certain other countries is that our liberties are enshrined in the rule of law; but as long as officers and media officials act within the law as interpreted by the courts, they can do what they want. I don't know how much of this will hold up in court. If the suspects were arrested without probable cause, then they would be able to sue for false arrest; but if there was probable cause and just not enough evidence for a conviction, then the police are acting well within the boundaries of the law to arrest suspects even if those suspects are not actually found guilty later. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-06T15:03:44-06:00
ID
78435
Comment

I found a site that discusses minors and Miranda that I thought was very interesting. I don't find this cut and dry at all.

Author
thabian
Date
2005-07-06T15:19:00-06:00
ID
78436
Comment

Thanks for the link, thabian. Clearly, it's not cut and dried. You've have to think (a) that minors have no constitutional rights or (b) believe they get no special protections because they're minors to think this is cut-and-dried. We were just told that the Melton adminstration is not inviting any more media on the sweeps because they're afraid some of them are going to get shot.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T15:53:01-06:00
ID
78437
Comment

Here's a very good list of ethical questions that journalists should ask themselves before identifying juvenile suspects (note it says nothing about the results of unscientific TV polls): http://www.rtnda.org/ethics/juve.html Some more links about Miranda rights and teenagers: http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/10/10/findlaw.analysis.colb.miranda/index.html "As a 17-year-old, Michael Alvarado possessed a vulnerability that the Supreme Court has repeatedly acknowledged as calling for heightened procedural safeguards." http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/lawreviews/meta-elements/journals/bctwj/22_2/03_TXT.htm (long, but interesting piece about protecting the rights of juveniles during interrogations)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T16:10:05-06:00
ID
78438
Comment

These TV insta-polls are funny. Look at the one WJTV has right now; gotta love the options: What do you think of Mayor Melton's crime sweep? It's not enough Keep it up It won't solve the problem Here's WAPT's version; at least they seem to entertain the notion that the sweeps could be going too far: What do you think of Frank Melton's crime sweeps? He's doing the right thing. He's overstepping his bounds. I'm not sure yet. ____ Did all three stations play the video of the 16-year-old being interrogated by Melton? I just saw it on WJTV.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T16:24:13-06:00
ID
78439
Comment

Thanks for the links, Donna. I think we all agree that the suspect's face should have been pixellated out, and that any information gained during the quasi-interrogation we saw probably wouldn't be admissible in court. But somehow I suspect that if the objective was to gather information that could be used in court, they wouldn't have interrogated the kid while the cameras were rolling. This is psychological warfare, plain and simple, and I'm not sure I disagree with it. So far he hasn't technically done anything unconstitutional (obtaining testimony that can't be used in court is not unconstitutional in and of itself), and if his objective is to scare prospective juvenile offenders by making them think he'll have their hides, that might not be a bad idea. My concern is not that folks stoned on crack cocaine might be dumb enough to say "Sure--come in" to the police and get raided, or that juvenile offenders might get psychologically intimidated during arrests. Both sound like acceptable tactics to me. And sure, this is more flash than substance. But perception is a problem on both ends of the crime issue--if he can make prospective criminals more scared, and citizens less scared, then that would have a substantial effect on the crime rate. I don't know. This is either incredibly ingenious or incredibly stupid, and I'm not 100% sure which yet, but I think I get what Melton is trying to do. No idea whether it'll work, not work, or backfire horribly. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-06T16:26:36-06:00
ID
78440
Comment

(One thing to it: This does need to be about scaring criminals, not scaring everybody who lives in certain parts of town. So he has to go about this carefully. I think his idea of focusing on business districts, and not knocking on every door in residential neighborhoods, is a wise one.)

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-06T16:29:41-06:00
ID
78441
Comment

While I do not object to the sweeps, I dont think Melton is ìscaringî anyone, but rather he is doing what most people that live in these areas expected heíd do after he announced his candidacy for mayor. Does anyone else recall after Mondayís sweep Melton stated that he would follow with a sweep on Tuesday along with support form the military?

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-06T17:18:24-06:00
ID
78442
Comment

Psychological warfare against 16-year-olds? I do disagree with that phrase, Tom, and not based on some namby-pamby liberal tendency. There is plenty, PLENTY of quality study and research about juveniles and recidivism and crime prevention and so on, and filming a lecture/interrogation of a 16-year-old in handcuffs on the hood of a car in front of a mob of TV cameras does not fall high on the list of what works to make a community safer. People keep forgetting that young people who grow up in cycles of hopelessness already don't really feel like they have anything to lose by doing the crime in the first place. It's the hopelessness you've got to counter if you want to stem crime by young people. It sounds like Mr. Melton has some ideas about that, too; I'll be very happy to hear more details about them. Another thing to ponder: Giuliani was working hard to change the "perception" in NYC, and it worked for a while. But then the over-zealous policing brought Abner Louima and Amidou Diallo and a whole bunch of other cases that didn't involve 41 bullets or sodomy in a jailhouse. That definitely changed the perception, and not in the way that Rudy wanted. It probably bears pointing out that "shock and awe" isn't exactly a smart approach, as we've learned the hard way in Iraq, if it isn't coupled with a thought-out strategy for attacking the roots of problems and ensuring that your punitive efforts will have long-lasting effects.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T17:42:37-06:00
ID
78443
Comment

Krhodes, just saw your post. You say Mr. Melton is doing what most people in that area expected him to do: What is that exactly, do you think? You didn't say, and I do think making it specific would be interesting to this discussion. You don't believe it's scaring people into doing the right thing. So what do you think it is that he promised to do?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T17:45:04-06:00
ID
78444
Comment

My statement above refers to the fact that the concept of "probable cause" generally can be and sometimes is fabricated by cops in order to get arrests. That sort of misconduct, ideally, is used as a defense in any resulting criminal trial. Buck, you're baiting and switching again. I'm not disagreeing on the "probable cause" pointóI am commenting on the second part of your statement when you talk about "the flip side" of the hotels being "havens of crimes." There really is no flip side of the Constitution. Everyone gets the same rights, or should, whether or not they are hanging near a "haven of crime." Your implication seemed clear, but I appreciate that you don't think what it seemed you were saying. I didn't think you would. Joycelyn, I may have misread your point about gun laws in NYC. I'm still not sure I'm getting what you're trying to express. I apologize.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T17:55:51-06:00
ID
78445
Comment

Donna writes: Psychological warfare against 16-year-olds? I do disagree with that phrase, Tom, and not based on some namby-pamby liberal tendency. It's not very palatable, but we're already throwing these kids in jail--is trying to scare the bejeezus out of them really a bad idea? I think psychological warfare against 16-year-olds sure as heck beats what we're doing now, which is waiting until they do something really bad and then trying them as adults. Remember that 15-year-old who murdered a police officer a few months back? You think he did that out of nowhere, just because he woke up one morning and felt like shooting a police officer? This stuff escalates. Melton has worked with enough of these kids to recognize that. There is plenty, PLENTY of quality study and research about juveniles and recidivism and crime prevention and so on, and filming a lecture/interrogation of a 16-year-old in handcuffs on the hood of a car in front of a mob of TV cameras does not fall high on the list of what works to make a community safer. We both agree that the kid's face should have been pixellated, but go back to Cesare Beccaria and you'll find that our entire philosophy of criminal justice is based to a great extent on the idea that consistent punishment deters criminals. If we can create the perception that crime is likely to be followed by punishment, then that will do a world of good. Much more good, here again, than waiting until they do something really horrible and then throwing the book at them. I don't think it's any secret that most crime in Jackson is committed by juveniles. We have to do something, for the sake of the offenders as much as for the sake of the victims. I'm not saying Melton's approach will work, but I can understand it. People keep forgetting that young people who grow up in cycles of hopelessness already don't really feel like they have anything to lose by doing the crime in the first place. Urban crime is usually a symptom of hopelessness, whether you're talking about the impoverished "masterless men" of 17th-century Britain or the "street urchins" of the late 1800s. That's why we should keep our eyes on deterring crime rather than seeking vengeance. I think that's what Melton is trying to do. Whether he's doing a good job of it, only time will tell. Another thing to ponder: Giuliani was working hard to change the "perception" in NYC, and it worked for a while. But then the over-zealous policing brought Abner Louima and Amidou Diallo and a whole bunch of other cases that didn't involve 41 bullets or sodomy in a jailhouse. That definitely changed the perception, and not in the way that Rudy wanted. So the solution is to watch the police like hawks and make sure that kind of Abu Ghraib mentality doesn't develop. Melton is a lot different than Rudy in that he has actually been part of Jackson's inner-city community for 20 years; I really don't see anything he's part of going in that direction. He knows a lot of these kids himself. That wasn't just a campaign ploy--anybody who knows Melton well will tell you this. It probably bears pointing out that "shock and awe" isn't exactly a smart approach, as we've learned the hard way in Iraq, if it isn't coupled with a thought-out strategy for attacking the roots of problems and ensuring that your punitive efforts will have long-lasting effects. The best way to win a war with the fewest number of casualties is by starting off with a display of overwhelming force, which demoralizes the enemy and encourages desertion. Of course, a viable long-term strategy also has to be in place. How much of that metaphor is applicable to crime prevention, I can't really say--though I do agree that raids alone aren't going to do the job for Melton. But then I don't see anybody saying that they are. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-06T18:16:47-06:00
ID
78446
Comment

"Krhodes, just saw your post. You say Mr. Melton is doing what most people in that area expected him to do: What is that exactly, do you think? You didn't say, and I do think making it specific would be interesting to this discussion. You don't believe it's scaring people into doing the right thing. So what do you think it is that he promised to do?" Most people that I have spoken with that reside in ìthese areasî expect Melton to come into their communities with little or no regard for their civil liberties-for the record I am not saying he did. Am not privy to Melton having promised anything specifically as to how he would approach Jacksonís criminal element, but as long as citizenís constitutional rights are not compromised, I shall remain supportive.

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-06T18:29:05-06:00
ID
78447
Comment

It's not very palatable, but we're already throwing these kids in jail--is trying to scare the bejeezus out of them really a bad idea My point is that I don't think it will work. At least if it's not along with an integrated program to stem the hopelessness at the same time before using TV cameras to spread the message that young, black men are hopeless. I heard a very wise (black) man say the other night that young black men are killing other young black men (which is the most common crime) because they hate themselves so much and have been told by society how horrible they are. That video I saw on TV does little, if anything, to re-instill hopelessness into the young men of Jackson. Of course it escalates. No one is saying it doesn't. But often strategies such as these help escalate the problem. That's been proven repeatedly. You're right that there's too much juvenile crime (although I'm not sure I believe that "most" crime in Jackson is committed by juveniles; I'd need some backup before just believing that anecdotal statement). And there's too much adult crime. The first is over-hyped, and the second is under-hyped. And this is already a shitload of information out there about what to do about it, and none of it involves slamming that 16-year-old into a car and putting him all over the airwaves. And, no, I don't believe "shock and awe" works in any circumstance. We have no evidence of that, big or small. There was none in Giuliani's NYC, nor in the conflict in Iraq. "Shock and awe" escalates by its very nature. I want crime to improve, too, Tomócontrary to the dumbasses out there trying to say that I love myself a good act of crime. (LOL). However, I've spent a lot of time studying juvenile crime ó and its causes, solutions, media coverage and so on ó and I promise you that putting that kid on TV like that is NOT the answer and may well be counterproductive. It is remarkable to me how Mississippi doesn't seem to have gotten the memoówe are literally talking about juvenile-justice issues here that were hashed out a decade ago in many states. And, with due respect to Mr. Melton and his devotion to young people, I think there's a big difference between the skills it takes to foster individual kids (or get them to surrender to police) and the know-how and planning it takes to turn around the problem of juvenile crime in a community. It's not the same thing. I would feel a bit better today had we not seen midnight raids right out of the gate and not been able to get a single cotton-pickin' answer on details of any of his other strategies that are going to be part of the integrated approach (nor have the other media that I've seen. Of course, they may not have asked). It's time to hear some answers on the other fronts as well so that the public can feel confident that there is an integrated approach on the way. Krhodes, the Constitution doesn't depend on the majority being willing to suspend their civil liberties. It's about one person, and must be. The majority's view is irrelevant. One question to ponder: How would we know when someone's constitutional rights are violated on one of these raids? TV? The Ledge? And if someone asserted that they had been, would everyone else just say, "no problem, that area is a 'haven for crime.' Or, that was just a "thug"; everyone knows he's bad." See my point?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T18:35:54-06:00
ID
78448
Comment

I'm not sure whether you are "baiting and switching," missing my "nuance," or not understanding my point in the first place: as Prof. Steffey stated, Melton's activities are certainly aggressive police work, but do not run afoul of the Constitution. And I am in favor of aggressive police work where it is needed, seedy hotels in West Jackson being an appropriate example. Additionally, I defer to Melton's expertise on where crimes are occurring, and what types of them, and by whom ("haven[s] of crime"). Aggressive police work will necessarily operate on the limits provided by the Constitution; but sometimes that is what is required to rectify the situation. Would that sort of thing be approriate in Eastover? Certainly not. Whether I think (or anyone thinks) that is good, bad, fair, or ideal is a separate set of issues. To clarify, I do not and would not advocate selectively violating Constitutional rights in law enforcement work under any circumstances. Re: the 16-year-old celebrity, I haven't seen the footage, but would like to. This is an issue of media ethics (if an issue exists at all). One generally does not have a privacy interest in one's physical appearance, voice, fingerprints, etc. while in public. Unless the party doing the filming went on the defame the subject, to use the subject's image for pecuniary gain, or commit another specific (and rather unusual) privacy tort. Will there be any followup on that story? Was the kid charged with anything?

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-07-06T18:39:49-06:00
ID
78449
Comment

Your point's been a tad slippery, Buck. ;-) But I'll forgive you. Prof. Steffey commented on the facts as presented to him, remember. One of my points is that I haven't seem much in the selected media to indicate that the reporters on the scene have taken time to figure out just what they're looking for. And I think the Ledge is the only one who has bothered to ask whether something was OK or not. I don't think STeffey even commented on the 16-year-old-on-parade. That brings up different questions altogether. Would that sort of thing be approriate in Eastover? Certainly not. Why not? I hear there are shitloads of drugs in Eastover, and throughout North Jackson. Why not the same behavior? Agreed that those people wouldn't stand for it; we got a serious double standard working here. And, again, the same point: the Constitution is the same whatever neighborhood you're in. You still seem to be saying the same thing I disagreed with the first time you said it, but you're trying to couch it differently. Agreed that is a serious issue of media ethics, but it is also a constitutional issue for the "police" in how they interrogating that young man, whether or not his Miranda rights were done correctly, whether his parents were called and so on. I'm getting that straight from U.S. Supreme Court cases. It's not quite as simple as you present it, and it sure wouldn't be if it happened in Eastover. Attorneys would be lining up around the block to take that one on. I don't know if the kid was charged with anything; the police public information guy said he didn't know anything, and the whole operation seems too disorganized to get any real info so far. That might be one more reason to have waited at least a week to do raids that the public have an interest in knowing all the details on ó to be organized enough to answer questions about them. As it is, the accountability is tough to measure.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T18:48:13-06:00
ID
78450
Comment

'Krhodes, the Constitution doesn't depend on the majority being willing to suspend their civil liberties. It's about one person, and must be. The majority's view is irrelevant. One question to ponder: How would we know when someone's constitutional rights are violated on one of these raids? TV? The Ledge? And if someone asserted that they had been, would everyone else just say, "no problem, that area is a 'haven for crime.' Or, that was just a "thug"; everyone knows he's bad." See my point?' I get your point, and I wonder at what real cost (i.e. tax dollars, surge in law suits against the city) will these sweeps continue-although currently am not in opposition of them

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-06T18:51:24-06:00
ID
78451
Comment

You're right, K. That is a good question and one that only time will answer, although there are certainly ways to look at other places (like NYC) and get a sense of what kinds of actions will get us in trouble as a community. The worst costs, of course, would be someone getting harmed due to over-zealous policing. NYC learned that the hard friggin' way. I remember when Rudy first came to office, so many people (including lots of "liberals") were thrilled that he was "cleaning up" the streets. It was later that the harsh reality set in of the price they were paying (financially and otherwise). It really is up to the community to watch out for potential problems before they happened; the Amadou Diallo case (and Louima; Google them if you don't know the details) about killed the city psychologically. We must be vigilant to make sure that we don't face results like those. This is real, important stuff to think about. It's not a cowboys-and-Indians game.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-06T18:58:19-06:00
ID
78452
Comment

"If we can create the perception that crime is likely to be followed by punishment, then that will do a world of good. Much more good, here again, than waiting until they do something really horrible and then throwing the book at them." - Tom H. Tom, arrest is not punishment. One of the biggest concerns with any arrest is having it stick and actually leading to a guilty verdict. One of the biggest issues with crime in JXN is that most of the arrests never stick or never make it to trial (ahem, D.A. and court systems). Most of these repeat criminals we hear about have been arrested multiple times but are released because theres not enough evidence or the case isn't presented soon enough or ... The reasons seem to go on and on. The problem with getting these criminals in jail for their crimes is almost as bad as the crimes themselves. So, to make a point that will change the perception of the system by the criminal, Melton and company will need to make sure these cases go all the way through the system. If they know an arrest only leads to a night in jail, what's really changed? Hope that made sense... I'm still a little groggy and need my breakfast and coffee.

Author
kaust
Date
2005-07-07T07:12:09-06:00
ID
78453
Comment

what i am yet to understand is how "we" keep refering to people that have had no trial as criminals. Arent "we" following the same guilty until "acquitted" logic that we criticize others for having. also this notion that "seedy" hotels in "west jackson" are havens of crime may be true but at what point do we decide that cutting off the supply may have some impact on the situtation. Im pretty sure we'd all be suprised if we could find out who gets alot of this stuff in our communities. i must be honest, im a black man in america, and my views of police may differ from the protect and serve image that some of "us" may have. However, i do believe that Melton is doing little more than having the bottom line with a gun now that he's mayor. These sweeps are a new thing so its interesting what will be the issue when he has 25 of them and catches 3 "criminals"

Author
skipp
Date
2005-07-07T08:09:16-06:00
ID
78454
Comment

From The Clarion-Ledger's story today about the third night of "sweeps": Police focused on neighborhoods just east of Bailey Avenue up to Presidential Hills. The night ended with a road block at Bailey Avenue and Fortification Street. Police said nine people were arrested Wednesday on charges ranging from outstanding warrants to possession of marijuana. Wednesday's arrests bring the three-day total to 29, police said. Most of the arrests were misdemeanors, but "you have to start with the small stuff," Melton said. [...] Melton was sensitive to questions of proper procedure, warning police officers they needed to establish probable cause at a 4 p.m. briefing at the Jackson Police Department Training Academy on St. Charles Street. A car parked illegally in the yard of a Newman Avenue home gave police cause to search the vehicle, Melton said. Police also searched four young men sitting on the home's porch. Derrick Johnson of 3657 Newman Ave. was arrested for misdemeanor traffic violation, court records show. Antonio Reese, 26, said he understands why Melton is doing the sweeps, but took exception to being searched. "We were just standing in the yard. It was embarrassing to be leaned up against a car with TV cameras in your face," Reese said. "I just wonder if they're going to do the same thing in some of the uppity neighborhoods like Woodhaven and Lakeover." [...] Hinds County Justice Court Judge Bill Skinner called Melton's sweeps a "noble" idea and said such tactics "are very effective." But he cautioned that officers needed to be careful. "I just fear that in the rush to get this done, mistakes will be made," Skinner said Wednesday afternoon before the sweeps. "I just hate to see that because I think what they're doing is great." ____ What about those sawed-off shotguns or whatever it was found the first night? Is the worst arrest really for pot possession? It seems like one moral is to park your car in the right place.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T09:47:28-06:00
ID
78455
Comment

Skipp, you make a great point. It seems like way too many people in Jackson are assuming that young black men are criminals until proven otherwise. Glad to see we've come so far in our thinking. Also, Marshall Ramsey's cartoon today is priceless.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T09:50:35-06:00
ID
78456
Comment

LADD: It seems like one moral is to park your car in the right place. The moral I get is to avoid possessing pot or neglecting to pay outstanding traffic tickets.

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-07-07T10:05:13-06:00
ID
78457
Comment

Buck, are you missing the part where people and cars were searched because a car was parked in the yard? I believe you probably understand the point that the way evidence is gathered is very important in America. I'm not saying a car parked in a yard isn't probably cause for searching it, understand. But it is something a lot of folks probably hadn't thought about. I agree that a good moral is to avoid possessing pot, no matter what neighborhood who live in or where you spend your weekends. I don't believe in drug use of any kind, including abuse of prescription drugs. However, I'm not a big fan of the drug war, either, or the tactics often used to wage that war. That's the libertarian in me speaking. If THAT is the war he's fighting, it's certainly not limited to West Jackson, is it?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T10:11:17-06:00
ID
78458
Comment

skipp: "also this notion that "seedy" hotels in "west jackson" are havens of crime may be true but at what point do we decide that cutting off the supply may have some impact on the situtation. Im pretty sure we'd all be suprised if we could find out who gets alot of this stuff in our communities." skipp has a point. It seems as if he upper echalon of the drug distribution in this country does not get caught. I look at it from a government perspective. You have a choice: collect a few dollars from each low-level offender or collect millions from the Top Dog. BUT, that Top Dog is rich enough for a HUGE defense (ie, very expensive for government to convict him). So you spend millions to take Top Dog down and stem the flow of drugs. Next week, Top Pup has taken Top Dog's place and it's business as usual at the top of the drug trade. It pays better for the government to collect a few dollars (maybe a house and a car, too) from the millions of low-level offenders who can't defend themselves to the extent of Top Dog. I believe it's all about the money.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-07T10:45:21-06:00
ID
78459
Comment

It's also good public relations, especially if the media coverage is non- or little-questioning of the tactics. It doesn't mean anything is safer; interesting how all of a sudden changing "perception" is such an important goal, no matter what the reality. My whiplash is acting up again. It's funny how Chief Moore was criticized for pointing out that faulty "perceptions" overblown by the media hurt the community. He ought to be chortling with satisfaction now as everyone is going around talking about how Mr. Melton is going to fix "perceptions," as if that's all that matters, with little regard to the charges and whether they will stick, someone's rights are violated, etc. I bet you money we keep hearing lots of rhetoric about improving "perceptions" now that the p-word was used to unseat a mayor and police chief who were actually improving crime and without media circuses around them all the time.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T10:50:54-06:00
ID
78460
Comment

My whiplash is acting up again. Once again, Donna delivers Today's Hearty Belly Laugh! As for Skipp's point about who's at the top of the drug chain, if you will: Years ago when I was living in DC, I read an article in the Washington City Paper about the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, pointing out that that organization was extensively sponsored by the advertising industry, which explained its mysterious failure to take on the two drugs that cause the most suffering in the US: tobacco and alcohol. That's when I started referring to it as "the Partnership for an America Free of Drugs That the Advertising Industry Doesn't Make Any Money From." Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-07-07T11:00:00-06:00
ID
78461
Comment

skipp: "also this notion that "seedy" hotels in "west jackson" are havens of crime may be true but at what point do we decide that cutting off the supply may have some impact on the situtation. Im pretty sure we'd all be suprised if we could find out who gets alot of this stuff in our communities." Steph:skipp has a point. It seems as if he upper echalon of the drug distribution in this country does not get caught. I look at it from a government perspective. You have a choice: collect a few dollars from each low-level offender or collect millions from the Top Dog. BUT, that Top Dog is rich enough for a HUGE defense (ie, very expensive for government to convict him). So you spend millions to take Top Dog down and stem the flow of drugs. Next week, Top Pup has taken Top Dog's place and it's business as usual at the top of the drug trade. It pays better for the government to collect a few dollars (maybe a house and a car, too) from the millions of low-level offenders who can't defend themselves to the extent of Top Dog. I believe it's all about the money. Rhetoric suggesting that low-level drug dealers are somehow any less criminal because they do not import drugs into this country is perplexing. I believe most drugs are imported from countries where the government is so corrupt, it is virtually impossible to stop the drug cartels that operate within said countries. ps -am not charging Skipp or Steph of using rhetoric ;-)

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-07T11:20:29-06:00
ID
78462
Comment

Jim, it's hard to use a more stereotypical, sweeping race statement such as the ones who just did -- which clearly violate the User Agreement. So your last post will be deleted. I don't think much will be lost as most people here know what race the various Council members are, and find it irrelevant. However, I suspect you are as capable as discussing specifics as anyone else. If you would care to discuss Mr. Melton's drug-war tactics, search and seizure, constitutionality of searches, etc., without making sweeping statements about entire groups or races of people, you may feel free to do so. If not, you'll want to find another forum. This one isn't for you in that case.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T11:20:45-06:00
ID
78463
Comment

Well, K, I think they're "less criminal" under the law as well if I'm not mistaken. It is lesser charge to possess pot than to import drugs. The question really is about a twisted sense of who's "gettin' it" in the drug war. Are the well-to-do and often suppliers getting stuck with the same intensity as the scores of young men and women filling our prisons for low-level drug use? And it is also true that ANY user is as criminal as anotheróno matter whether they are rich white Ivy types or guys hanging on a porch in West Jackson. We don't need a double standard, especially when those white users are just as responsibile, if not more so, for the demand as the others.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T11:28:06-06:00
ID
78464
Comment

"Jim, it's hard to use a more stereotypical, sweeping race statement such as the ones who just did -- which clearly violate the User Agreement. So your last post will be deleted. I don't think much will be lost as most people here know what race the various Council members are, and find it irrelevant. However, I suspect you are as capable as discussing specifics as anyone else. If you would care to discuss Mr. Melton's drug-war tactics, search and seizure, constitutionality of searches, etc., without making sweeping statements about entire groups or races of people, you may feel free to do so. If not, you'll want to find another forum. This one isn't for you in that case." Alas, you are no different than the Clarion-Ledger. I bid you adieu.

Author
Jim Giles
Date
2005-07-07T11:30:36-06:00
ID
78465
Comment

From your perspective, we're probably not. I'm sorry you feel that way. You are as welcome to discuss issues here as anyone else as you did in our Q&A interview with you a while back, but not to make sweeping statements about races of people. Likewise, I do not allow people to make idiotic statements about all "white" people being a particular way, and the last person I suspended called the president Hitler just to be ugly and anger people. We have rules of civil discussion, and we do not make exceptions regardless of the type of prejudice.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T11:34:42-06:00
ID
78466
Comment

Rhetoric suggesting that low-level drug dealers are somehow any less criminal because they do not import drugs into this country is perplexing. I don't think the point was that they "are somehow less criminal." I think the point was that the only way to "win" the drug "war" is to cut off the supplies, and the only way to really do that is to go after the people who are bringing drugs into the country. (Of course, I see drug abuse as fundamentally a spiritual problem that cannot by any means be solved if it is viewed as a "war" to be "won." But that's another discussion.) Best, Tim

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2005-07-07T11:53:19-06:00
ID
78467
Comment

It's an important discussion, though, Tim. It's not as if any of these drug "sweeps" are going to cure addiction.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T11:58:56-06:00
ID
78468
Comment

again maybe its not who gets caught but who gets caught the most yeah drugs are a problem, but not just in west jackson. perception is a bad word to use unless its in your favor. look at what Melton is doing searching people for a car parked "illegally" in your own yard. I a. want to see how illegally this car was parked then I b. want to see him use this crap in Lakeover or in any of the gated (with real gates I might add) communities. its not about the possession of drugs its about all this attention that is being paid to where people that look like me live only. I must admit that im attached to this issue. At first glance you dont see my degrees or my intellect, you see my baggy pants and tshirt. This appearence puts me in the same boat as the people that melton is attacking for people that live in Lakeover. oh and if its more profitable to catch low end criminals, why are we paying the mayor $120,000 and the police chief $? to catch people that use a public defendant. wouldnt it be cheaper to just use a citizens arrest??

Author
skipp
Date
2005-07-07T13:50:08-06:00
ID
78469
Comment

I'd also suggest that Mr. Melton's warnings about earrings and baggy pants are playing into these stereotypes as well, skipp. What do you think? I've known many men who wear earrings who aren't hoodlums, for the record. I really don't understand the stereotyping, even if it does play well on TV.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T13:53:07-06:00
ID
78470
Comment

thats exactly what it does (no offense to anyone) but many old black people and many whites believe that they can be made safe. safety is so subjective and there is nothing that can be done to improve it. safety is based solely on perception. i honestly believe im safe in the upper level (even though i dont go--too young of a crowd and no good music) or in the hills or in virden addition or wood street. however, i have no business in virden addition or wood street, not because they are unsafe, but it serves me no purpose to just hang out in those areas. i feel much safer in jackson (well at least when the mayor wasnt the co chief of police) than i have in ridgeland or pearl or brandon. this fear of blacks is not new. at first we were savages, then we were thought to be carriers of v.d., then we were thought to have wanted to run off with all of the white women (may be valid with some black men), now we're just super criminals that want to pillage and burn the town because we're animals. i dont get it at all

Author
skipp
Date
2005-07-07T14:01:58-06:00
ID
78471
Comment

then we need to start looking at many of these crimes in Jackson. if someone breaks into your car because it was parked in a dark lot w/o sercurity, i mean what do you expect. common sense will reduce crime because many of these criminals are children and the remainder are not masterminds they are drug addicts

Author
skipp
Date
2005-07-07T14:05:48-06:00
ID
78472
Comment

Well, K, I think they're "less criminal" under the law as well if I'm not mistaken. It is lesser charge to possess pot than to import drugs. The question really is about a twisted sense of who's "gettin' it" in the drug war. Are the well-to-do and often suppliers getting stuck with the same intensity as the scores of young men and women filling our prisons for low-level drug use? I agree theyíre not equally culpable under the law. However, for to often there is a sentiment within the very communities of which drugs have been the greatest detriment, that because they donít have the means (i.e. planes, boats) in which to import drugs, simply selling drugs after the fact is somehow less culpable.

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-07T14:10:39-06:00
ID
78473
Comment

Well, K, I think they're "less criminal" under the law as well if I'm not mistaken. It is lesser charge to possess pot than to import drugs. The question really is about a twisted sense of who's "gettin' it" in the drug war. Are the well-to-do and often suppliers getting stuck with the same intensity as the scores of young men and women filling our prisons for low-level drug use? I agree theyíre not equally culpable under the law. However, for to often there is a sentiment within the very communities of which drugs have been the greatest detriment, that because they donít have the means (i.e. planes, boats) in which to import drugs, simply selling drugs after the fact is somehow less culpable.

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-07T14:11:19-06:00
ID
78474
Comment

Sorry all for the erratic posting, am having issues with my computer! Stereotypes aside most folks in & around Jackson have long since known what communities are over-run with crime, therefor I think these sweeps have less to do with stereotypes and more to do with what are the facts!

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-07T14:21:19-06:00
ID
78475
Comment

Skipp - then we need to start looking at many of these crimes in Jackson. if someone breaks into your car because it was parked in a dark lot w/o sercurity, i mean what do you expect. common sense will reduce crime because many of these criminals are children and the remainder are not masterminds they are drug addicts I expect to find my car just as I left it! I hope your calling for a greater showing of common sense on the part of criminals and not the victims

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-07T14:34:04-06:00
ID
78476
Comment

Skipp - then we need to start looking at many of these crimes in Jackson. if someone breaks into your car because it was parked in a dark lot w/o sercurity, i mean what do you expect. common sense will reduce crime because many of these criminals are children and the remainder are not masterminds they are drug addicts I expect to find my car just as I left it! I hope your calling for a greater showing of common sense on the part of criminals and not the victims

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-07T14:34:45-06:00
ID
78477
Comment

How about common sense for everyone, K? We can hold two thoughts at onceóencourage victims to learn how not to be, and prevent and punish crime. Actually, K, if we're talking about drug use, and pot use (which is what they're making arrests for in this week's "sweeps"), I would say that every neighborhood in Jackson is "overrun" with crime. It's just that it's more obvious in certain rundown neighborhoods and more palatable in certain upscale ones. The biggest hypocrite I can imagine is someone who wants someone to do drug sweeps in poor neighborhoods and rake in the users (I think you went from talking about users to dealers, by the way), even as they smoke a little weed with their fellow conservative buddies on the weekends. They are the same level of criminal, even if they are not poor. If that rich user don't like them rules, then change them for everyone. If not, that rich user is a bigot and a hypocrite.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T14:43:30-06:00
ID
78478
Comment

Skipp and Donna, I didn't assume that the folks Melton was arresting were criminals. I was talking, in general terms, about how effective these kinds of methods are at deterring criminals. I say that, even if Melton's methods don't turn out to be effective, he's using them because he thinks they will be. I don't think racism is among Melton's motives. I think soul-rending frustration with the number of young lives he has seen destroyed in 20 years of volunteer work in west Jackson is his primary motivation. As far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on whether Melton's approach will work. Knol, I agree that the charges have to stick--but when folks are arrested in situations where there is probable cause that a felony has occurred, that's almost always a good thing. If there is no serious attempt to prosecute offenders in cases where the evidence is clear, then maybe we need to take a look at why. If our court system is clogged, then we obviously need more judges. If our D.A.'s office is made up of doves rather than bulldogs, then maybe we need to take a look at that, too. But my suspicion is the problem with prosecutions right now mainly has to do with the caseload, and the way to solve that problem is to hire more people. As my earlier post implies, I would be much happier if Melton kept his sweeps out of residential neighborhoods. I'm not sure Melton's methods will work; I never said I was sure Melton's methods will work. But I think they could work, and my attitude is to wait and see where he goes with them. So far nobody has died in a hail of bullets for drawing a wallet, and nobody has been raped with a broomstick. I don't think that's what Melton or the Jackson Police Department really has in mind. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and judge them by what they're actually doing rather than what we imagine they might do one day, or what we imagine their private motivations to be. What they're actually doing might be too much--but if it is, that's the conversation we need to be having. We don't need to be having a conversation about the kind of person Melton is, what his secret agenda might be, etc. That's warmed-over leftovers from the municipal election, and it'll seriously hurt our credibility if and when Melton does give us something to raise hell about. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-07T14:44:46-06:00
ID
78479
Comment

but when folks are arrested in situations where there is probable cause that a felony has occurred, that's almost always a good thing. The Ledge said today that most of the arrests are misdemeanors, Tom. That doesn't sound like they're rounding up a ton of evidence to make felonies stick, right? As my earlier post implies, I would be much happier if Melton kept his sweeps out of residential neighborhoods. He'll probably have to, legally. So far nobody has died in a hail of bullets for drawing a wallet, and nobody has been raped with a broomstick. I don't think that's what Melton or the Jackson Police Department really has in mind. Tom, clearly that's not what Rudy and the NYPD had in mind, either. I'm going to have to seriously depart company with you hereóa citizenry doesn't wait around to see if "aggressive" policing will shock and awe crime down, or will cause brutality and lawsuits. We demand accountability as it goes, and we keep an eye on it and talk about it. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and judge them by what they're actually doing rather than what we imagine they might do one day, or what we imagine their private motivations to be. I can't imagine that that's not what we're doingóhowever, a citizenry would be blind and dumb to not at least note what has happened in other municipalities that tried the same types of strategies. The lamestream media may not be interested in that kind of context, but we sure as hell should be. For the record, I haven't said that Mr. Melton is trying to be "racist"; I am saying, however, that probably inadvertently in his fervor to help in the ways that interest him that he may be playing into stereotypes. I cannot speak to his motive or why he's doing thatóonly what we see happening. And the "warmed-over leftovers" comment is so cheap and ill-supported that I'm going to ignore it. I realize where you stand on this, and this is fine, but do me the honor of not starting to assign me false motives because I don't happen to agree with you on this one. I'm not doing that to you.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T14:57:34-06:00
ID
78480
Comment

K, just do not hit "submit" more than once, please, without opening a new browser page to see if it's there.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T14:59:35-06:00
ID
78481
Comment

what you cant imagine the is the fact that too often people that post here deal with the theory and not the practical application of it. if the police are doing sweeps your right i have my negative glasses on they profile me so what am i to do but profile them for my "safety" also crime is an industry. youre right i do expect victims to have common sense this is Jackson, MS not Mayberry and one must take proactive steps to reduce crime. also why do you think these areas are "havens of crime" in all of the movies and television shows where they end up in Africa children are running around selling fruit. if people there were buying crack i bet they would sell it too. too often hunger motivates people to make certain moves and greed motivates them to continue. after what drugs have done to the black community please know that i hate them. but Jawanzaa Kunjufu even admits that they provide jobs and buddy look around it aint too many of them out here for people that look like me.

Author
skipp
Date
2005-07-07T15:29:04-06:00
ID
78482
Comment

Donna, I think you're absolutely right to be keeping an eye on Melton's raids--but I also think it's a little early to be predicting brutality and lawsuits. I see a false syllogism here: 1. Melton and the JPD are doing aggressive sweeps. 2. Rudy and the NYPD did aggressive sweeps. 3. The NYPD killed and tortured suspects in the wake of those sweeps. 4. Therefore, the JPD will kill and torture suspects in the wake of these sweeps. I am loathe, by the way, to blame Rudy and his new policies for all of the NYPD brutality. As anyone familiar with the LAPD's behavior in the 80s and 90s can tell you, the potential for abuse and corruption in large police departments is considerable, even when there aren't any aggressive new crime initiatives in place. And the NYPD had been abusing suspects, unchecked, for years leading up to the major scandals--just as the LAPD had been beating African-American suspects, unchecked, for years leading up to the Rodney King video (and continued to do so for years afterwards). It's a testament to the problems that still exist in our country that someone like Mark Fuhrman can be seen as a get-tough-on-crime celebrity of the right wing. Re marijuana: As long as possession of marijuana remains illegal, then arrests for marijuana possession do not constitute an abuse of police power. I personally lean towards legalization, but we shouldn't blame police officers or the mayor's administration for enforcing laws that our representatives have put in place. That's their job. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-07T15:59:41-06:00
ID
78483
Comment

One thing I forgot to mention. You wrote: And the "warmed-over leftovers" comment is so cheap and ill-supported that I'm going to ignore it. I realize where you stand on this, and this is fine, but do me the honor of not starting to assign me false motives because I don't happen to agree with you on this one. I'm not doing that to you. I'm sorry; that did come across as if I was attributing motives to you, but that wasn't what I was trying to say. I'm on deadline, typing very fast here and then getting back to work on the six chapters I'm writing concurrently that are due tomorrow night, and I'm not at my most articulate. I know you're smart enough to realize the mayor's election is over and done with until 2009. My issue isn't with what your motives are; my issue is with the fact that these are by and large the same criticisms that were made of Melton during the municipal election, and they would still be made now whether he had ordered the sweeps or not. "He'll be another Rudy"; "We'll be living in a police state"; and so on. I find this tiresome. If he's half as bad as many Johnson supporters expect him to be, then it won't be long before we all agree that he needs to go. But so far, what has he done, really, that Johnson wouldn't have done--other than wear a badge and go out on the raids with video cameras in tow? Did Johnson have a policy against arresting suspects for misdemeanors? Did Johnson have a policy against ordering knock-and-talks? We need to get real here. Melton is not Rambo, and Johnson was not sitting at his desk eating Cheetoes and watching Designing Women. What we are looking at here is primarily a PR change--a difference in the visibility level of JPD, and a difference in the way the mayor portrays himself. The actual differences in police procedure are certainly there, but they're relatively modest; yeah, he shut down a nightclub and brought back the curfew and took the police to I-80 to hunt for criminals. But people still had their cars searched for parking illegally before, and people were still arrested for marijuana possession before, and nightclubs were still shut down before. The issue is whether the modest procedural changes, plus the PR shift to a more visible police department, will cut crime. It might. It might not. It might lead to abuses. It might not. We have no way of knowing. None of this is set in stone. I, personally, am skeptical that anyone who has worked with at-risk youth for as long as Melton has, who has been as dedicated to this work as Melton has, would be blase about the way JPD treats suspects. Maybe that's a false expectation. Maybe your expectations are false. Maybe we all have it wrong and Melton will turn out to be a pussycat after his first week in office. Nobody really knows. That's why I want to judge him by what he's actually doing, not by what mayors and police departments in other cities have done, or by what one would expect Frank Melton to do based on the image that was conveyed during the municipal elections. That's what I meant--and all I meant--by "warmed-over leftovers." Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-07T16:23:42-06:00
ID
78484
Comment

LADD: I'm going to have to seriously depart company with you hereóa citizenry doesn't wait around to see if "aggressive" policing will shock and awe crime down, or will cause brutality and lawsuits. We demand accountability as it goes, and we keep an eye on it and talk about it. Last I checked, the vast majority of the "citizenry" voted Melton in, cowboy antics and all. Is there any doubt that Melton's supporters are applauding the recent sweeps? TOM HEAD:If our court system is clogged, then we obviously need more judges. If our D.A.'s office is made up of doves rather than bulldogs, then maybe we need to take a look at that, too. But my suspicion is the problem with prosecutions right now mainly has to do with the caseload, and the way to solve that problem is to hire more people. Is this coded language for "demanding accountability" from the Hinds Co. D.A.'s office? Perish the thought. . I expect the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to appear any minute now.

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-07-07T16:25:19-06:00
ID
78485
Comment

(And here's a curveball: Has it occurred to you that maybe the reason Melton didn't want the media on future raids was because they did show the 16-year-old suspect's face? Yeah, I know, it doesn't fit his image. But think about it a sec: He has worked with an awful lot of kids. And he did turn on a dime awfully quick on the issue of media coverage, so something obviously jolted him. Hey, it's just an idea.)

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-07T16:28:04-06:00
ID
78486
Comment

Tom, I'm not going to beat this horse forever. But you are setting up straw men with your syllogistic exercise this time. I, nor anyone else I've seen, have said that what Mr. Melton is doing now is inevitably going to lead to what happened on Rudy's watch (and there are direct connections between that brutality and his policies that you're glossing, if you're aware of them). I simply did not say thatóyou're putting words in my mouth, which is so unlike you, so that you can slap what I really said down. What I did say is that you have to watch out for "aggressive" policing and where it can lead. My examples of the extreme lengths they can go to are put here for the people who seem to have no clue, or who have done no research, into what "aggressive" policing can lead to, if left unchecked and unmonitoredóthe ones who think that "cowboy antics" are the way to lower crime without regard to the other possibilities. I am a businesswoman and a journalist, and I know that I have to consider the effects of my actions and words before I put them out there, even the ones that "may" only happen. I believe mayors should do the same thing, as well as citizens. Buck: I am really surprised that you seem to think that the "majority" of the citizens can vote for something that overrides the Constitution. Wow. I really think you know better than that. As I've pointed out before: the "majority" of Mississippians voted to close the public schools before integrating them, but it doesn't make it the right thing to do. It makes no difference how many people applaud something *if* it's not legal or moral or effective. Fortunately, public relations are not the guiding principles of the U.S., or of our Constitution. I shudder at the thought that they would be.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T16:44:46-06:00
ID
78487
Comment

Re the curveball, btw: I sure hope that is the case, but it didn't look like it when Mr. Melton was lecturing the young man for the TV cameras. But I certainly will give him credit if he thought about how unconscionable that was the next day and decided not to do it anymore. However, it seems media were invited last night as well, so the information I got about media not being invited anymore seems to have been faulty, so perhaps this thread is moot.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T16:46:55-06:00
ID
78488
Comment

Errrrr, OK. 1. Citizens can vote for anything at all; whether such things are *enforceable* is where the Constitution comes in. 2. I do not think that citizens can vote for something that overrides the Constitution, nor did I ever say any such thing. 3. What, per your statement, "overrides the Constitution?" My statement regarding Melton's "cowboy antics" referred to the recent sweeps which, if accurately reported, did not violate anyone's Constitutional rights.

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-07-07T16:53:01-06:00
ID
78489
Comment

Donna, has it crossed your mind that maybe I didn't fully understand where you were coming from on this? I mean, seriously--setting up straw men is such an ineffective way to argue a point under most circumstances that I can't see doing it on purpose. If you're just saying we need to keep an eye on aggressive policing to make sure it doesn't turn into something like what happened with the NYPD, I'm all for that. My problem is when you come in expecting a given result because a very different case in a very different city under very different leadership went badly. Rudy, at times, exemplifies privileged contempt. He did before he was mayor of New York, he did during (though 9/11 just made him look gutsy--which, to his credit, he probably is), and he did after. He will if he runs for the presidency. Melton says things at times that suggest privileged contempt, but the truth of the matter is that if you look at what he does with his time and what he has done with his time for most of his adult life, he has about as much in common with Rudy Giuliani as he does with Joan of Arc. If Melton's history means anything, anything at all, then it's clear that he gives a damn about these 16-year-old kids. I'm not sure the same could have been said about Rudy Giuliani. And yes, Rudy's policies contributed to the environment of brutality--but police brutality was a very real problem at the NYPD before he even got there. And it's one thing to lecture a kid whose face is pixellated in front of a camera, and another thing entirely to lecture a kid whose face is unpixellated in front of a camera. Nobody ever accused Melton of being excessively humble or camera-shy; he clearly likes theatrics. But I suspect that if it was Melton's WLBT, the kid's face would have been pixellated. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-07T17:13:33-06:00
ID
78490
Comment

I'm not saying you set up a straw man on purpose, Tom. I don't think you'd do that. But you did set one up, and about me, and you kinda put words in my mouth, which isn't common for you. I'm calling you on it because it's not accurate, not because I think you're suddenly a card-carrying member of the N-JAM Club. ;-) Of course, brutality was a problem before Rudy. But the deaths and serious brutality of innocents escalated under his frantic Street Crimes strategy. It's rather common sense that the risk of mistakes, and tough ones, go up when you're not taking time to think through your actions in the rush to rack up the misdemeanors and the camera time. Even Judge Skinner told the Ledge that today. Be careful. Maybe slow down a little. There are risks here. I've never questioned that Mr. Melton cares about young people. I believe he does. That doesn't mean that his "aggressive" policies don't need policing, or that his ideas can't stand for any improvement or assistance of facts about what works and doesn't work in other places. Nothing wrong with taking enough time to get it right the first time, especially since the stakes are so high. That's been my point the whole time if you listen to what I'm saying. I know you're eager to see Mr. Melton succeed; so am I. That's why it's important to balance out all the clamoring for "cowboy antics" as Buck calls them with a bit of common-sense caution. As for Buck, you've baited and switched yourself into a corner on what I said. My point to you has been consistent, even as yours has seemed to waver from post to post: Of course, many Melton's supporters want "cowboy antics" as you call them. That does not, however, mean that they are constitutional or above scrutiny by the public. And it doesn't matter whether they happen in a "bad" area or notóthe standards must be the same. Now, Buck, I am done repeating myself with you. I can't think of another possible way to say the same friggin' thing. So please move on and try a new point. There is truly nothing else to be said on this particular one. You've made yours; I've made mine.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-07T17:33:14-06:00
ID
78491
Comment

Ladd - How about common sense for everyone, K? We can hold two thoughts at onceóencourage victims to learn how not to be, and prevent and punish crime. I agree Ladd - 'Actually, K, if we're talking about drug use, and pot use (which is what they're making arrests for in this week's "sweeps"), I would say that every neighborhood in Jackson is "overrun" with crime. It's just that it's more obvious in certain rundown neighborhoods and more palatable in certain upscale ones. The biggest hypocrite I can imagine is someone who wants someone to do drug sweeps in poor neighborhoods and rake in the users (I think you went from talking about users to dealers, by the way), even as they smoke a little weed with their fellow conservative buddies on the weekends. They are the same level of criminal, even if they are not poor. If that rich user don't like them rules, then change them for everyone. If not, that rich user is a bigot and a hypocrite. Ladd, I cannot agree, because as we both know it's not as black-and-white as you make it seem. I have no objection to sweeps occurring anywhere here in Jackson, but it is not going to happen.

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-08T12:22:19-06:00
ID
78492
Comment

As an avid pot smoker and supporter of hemp as a useful commodity to bring down the nations debt, I feel the sweeps are heading out of control. what's next, a sweep for excessive use of water to wash my car?

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-08T12:39:39-06:00
ID
78493
Comment

Donna writes: The biggest hypocrite I can imagine is someone who wants someone to do drug sweeps in poor neighborhoods and rake in the users (I think you went from talking about users to dealers, by the way), even as they smoke a little weed with their fellow conservative buddies on the weekends. They are the same level of criminal, even if they are not poor. Agreed 100%. That position amounts to "I believe pot should be legal, but only for people above a certain income level." Not particularly respectful of the rule of law. I'm terrified of pot (and intoxicants in general--I almost never drink anything alcoholic), but it seems to me that pot legalization is probably the most humane policy. As long as pot is illegal, though, the law should be enforced equally--so yeah, if there are going to be neighborhood sweeps in west Jackson, there need to be some in Eastover, too. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-08T12:53:33-06:00
ID
78494
Comment

Honestly, the areas where the sweeps are occurring are the very nucleus in regards to crime here in Jackson! In addition, we all know these sweeps are not about arresting pot users! However, I guess itís a lot easier to remain politically correct and issue a call for sweeps in all of Jackson when youíve never lived in the areas that are currently being ìsweptî!

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-07-08T13:30:14-06:00
ID
78495
Comment

HEAD: "As long as pot is illegal, though, the law should be enforced equally--so yeah, if there are going to be neighborhood sweeps in west Jackson, there need to be some in Eastover, too." I am no cop, but doesn't it stand to reason that sweeps for illegal drugs are going to target areas in which drug dealing and use (and related conditions) are more prevalent than others? And if we can't agree that sleazy hotels in West Jackson and their surrounding areas have more problems with drug-related activity than Eastover, then you are quite beyond my ability to explain the difference. By way of disclaimer, I am strongly in favor of de-criminalizing (at least) marijuana.

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-07-08T13:37:17-06:00
ID
78496
Comment

Edit: I am in favor of de-criminalizing or "legalizing" marijuana, but not other drugs. Our judicial and law enforcement resources are wasted on marijuana users, IMO.

Author
buckallred
Date
2005-07-08T13:39:29-06:00
ID
78497
Comment

I'm terrified of pot (and intoxicants in general--I almost never drink anything alcoholic) Marijuana is not an intoxicant nor is it alcoholic. It's mmmmmmmmmedicinal.

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-08T13:55:16-06:00
ID
78498
Comment

I expect to find my car just as I left it! I hope your calling for a greater showing of common sense on the part of criminals and not the victims doesn't appear that he is.

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-08T14:00:05-06:00
ID
78499
Comment

It seems like way too many people in Jackson are assuming that young black men are criminals until proven otherwise. That's a sweeping generalization at best.

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-08T14:01:39-06:00
ID
78500
Comment

And yes, Rudy's policies contributed to the environment of brutality--but police brutality was a very real problem at the NYPD before he even got there. Excellent point!

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-07-08T14:05:43-06:00
ID
78501
Comment

It seems like way too many people in Jackson are assuming that young black men are criminals until proven otherwise. That's a sweeping generalization at best. what are you saying, when a person is arrested he is called a criminal on these boards Meltons sweeps are getting criminals off of the street not true...the people that are being arrested havent been tried and if they have been previously tried and served their sentence, why is that being brought up

Author
skipp
Date
2005-07-11T07:45:04-06:00
ID
78502
Comment

"He also promises to work with unions to train young people to rebuild dilapidated housing. Not with out the AFL-CIO!

Author
tortoise
Date
2005-07-25T14:57:31-06:00

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