On The Road Again with Frank Melton | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

On The Road Again with Frank Melton

Mayor Frank Melton on the Mobile Command Center with a JFP crew the night of April 9, 2006.

Mayor Frank Melton on the Mobile Command Center with a JFP crew the night of April 9, 2006. Photo by Kate Medley

— On Sunday, April 2, photographer Jaro Vacek and I went to Frank Melton's home on 2 Carters Grove to meet with the mayor's Mobile Command Center crew for a night on the town, so to speak. First, though, Melton showed us his home, his mammoth bedroom, his swimming pool underneath his bedroom (the room is the same length as the pool, he said), his "TV room" with a huge theater screen and 10 gray recliners, his "bat cave" (as Judge Karen Gilfoy used to call his office), his kitchen overflowing with food.

photo

Mayor Frank Melton and his dog Abby during a JFP ride-along on the Mobile Command Center in 2096,

Melton also introduced us to all the young men staying in the house at the time, who were home, including former Northwest Rankin basketball star Jeremy Bibbs, as well as Christopher Walker, who is his key witness in murder cases against Albert "Batman" Donelson and his brother Terrell. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Robert Shuler Smith, who was representing one of Donelson's associates in the trial starting the next day was also present for this dinner.)

After serving us a meal of stuffed, baked chicken, English peas, rice, collard greens and buttered rolls—with cooking and clean-up help from Police Chief Shirlene Anderson—watched as Melton strapped on his bulletproof vest and weapons standing in front of his dresser mirror. A red telephone without a dial—the hotline for murders, he said—sat next to his huge and unmade four-poster bed. People wandered in and out of the bedroom at will.

Melton wore a black WLBT polo shirt, black fatigue pants and black sneakers. He pinned on his "Mayor" police badge, and then stuck his old Jefferson Davis County deputy's badge on the collar of Abby, his drug sniffer and long-time pet, a half German Shepherd-half Rottweiler. (When one of his boys saw the badge on the dog's collar, the young man said to Bibbs: "He just put a badge on a dog," and shook his head, leading to me to think that Abby's badge was for my benefit.)

Outside, Melton handed me a bulletproof vest out of his car (Jaro brought his own), and then we loaded up in the RV with the mayor, Abby, Chief Anderson, Assistant Chief Roy Sandifer, and bodyguards Michael Recio and Marcus Wright. We headed out to do the nighttime "raids" that this group does several nights a week. We pulled out of Carter's Grove, headed to the University Medical Center to visit one of Melton's former kids, who recently had a lung transplant.

Then the call came: There was a shooting, right then, at UMC. Wright stepped on the gas as we held on.

April 2, 9 p.m.: Who Runs Jackson?

As the Mobile Command Center sped up Interstate 55, I held on like I was back on the subway in New York City. I quickly learned to climb onto a counter and mount my dark sneakers on a wall.

When we pulled up and jumped out of the RV at UMC, there seemed to be mass confusion, a car with the door open just outside the emergency room, young people running around with blood on their clothes. Because Jaro and I were dressed dark, and in vests, we apparently looked like SWAT members. No one stopped us from following Melton everywhere he went.

We soon learned that there had not been shots fired at UMC. Instead, two injured young people were driven there by friends from the Trustmark parking lot next to the Jackson Medical Mall, where gunplay had quickly turned deadly. A young man, Calvin Johnson, was dying in the emergency room.

Once we had the lay of the land, all six of us walked into the hospital following Melton—looking, I'm sure, like a band of terrorists. But doctors and nurses knew Melton; some smiled, some pointedly frowned. I would see that mixed reaction as I followed him the entire evening. We walked upstairs, without asking, to visit his young friend. Melton talked tenderly to the young man, barely skin and bones, for about 10 minutes while we waited. We then left the ward.

Back downstairs, the situation was a bit calmer, with police interviewing witnesses. Suddenly, a young man ran out of the emergency room screaming, as family members rushed toward him. Then, Kevin Johnson—the twin of Calvin, who was barely alive—started rolling on the pavement in agony. His muscle shirt was drenched in his brother's blood.

Melton quickly went over, gathered him up and took him to the Command Center. We left the scene, taking Kevin with us. "I need to protect him," Melton said as we drove away, ostensibly to look for the red Tahoe that Kevin said had fired the deadly shots. We went back toward the cruising area, but the mayor soon seemed to lose interest in looking for the vehicle.

As Kevin sat in the rear of the RV, staring at his feet, a TV screen overhead playing crime shows, we pulled almost into the intersection of Northside Drive and Bailey Avenue and stopped the RV in the middle of the street, clogging traffic. Melton grabbed Abby, and followed by his bodyguards, went into stores in the area. He then started walking down the middle of the street shining flashlights in cars and telling people to put on safety belts, before entering The Spot convenience store, where he told a young man to "pull your britches up on your behind," and a little boy patted Abby with glee. After about 20 minutes, walking back to the RV, Melton looked at me and said, "Donna, you know what? I run Jackson." (More snickers.) "I do it in a weird way, but I run Jackson."

Melton then turned back to the bodyguards flanking him and said, "We just stopped that car over there, didn't we?" For the next 30 or 40 minutes, the RV drove to different intersections—many packed with cruising traffic—where we did much the same thing. In between, Melton talked to Kevin when he wasn't on the cell phone with his family.

April 2, 10:10 p.m.: Time to Say Goodbye

We pulled up in front of the McDonald's on Northside Drive near Hanging Moss, which was packed with young people hanging out. Kevin—who was carrying a handful of napkins—was clearly tired of the "raids," and yelled at Melton: "Godd*amnit, I want to go back and be with my brother!" He jumped out and ran, dropping the napkins in the street. Melton ran him down and rolled around on the ground with him, hugging him. Then he brought him back, calmer. As Kevin got in the RV, Melton picked up all the napkins gently, and we loaded up and returned to UMC, where the mayor calmly escorted Kevin and other family in to say goodbye before doctors took his brother off life support.

April 2, 11:15 p.m.: The Real World

The seven of us, and Kevin, then loaded back up and returned to the scene of the crime, where Kevin told the story of what happened. (See last issue and jacksonfreepress.com for details.) From the crime scene, Kevin went home with his family who had come there, eager to pick up his brother's 1999 Crown Victoria. However, police impounded the car.

"Welcome to the real world," Melton told me as we pulled away from the crime scene, headed for Subdivision #1, where he had planned to go earlier.

April 2, 11:40 p.m.: 30 Days' Notice

Melton wanted to return to Subdivision #1, to a ramshackle house in the 3000 block of Washington Street, he said, to show me how some people were living. He had told me about a man there who has a tracheotomy in his throat, whose house drug dealers had taken over, he said.

Washington Street is small and closed in, and looked like it would seem dark even during the day. The houses, mostly rentals in bad condition, sit among many abandoned cars and an air of neglect. The RV seemed to take up the whole street as we crept along, the headlights illuminating a depressing scene.

"There he is," Recio said as we pulled in front of the house. Jonathan (we are not revealing last names without permission) stood in front of the house, in his mid-40s, wearing a red doo-rag and baggy clothes. We stepped out into the quiet with Wright and Recio grabbing their submachine guns. Wright went first with a flashlight onto the porch, as Melton talked to Jonathan, Recio bringing up the rear. My heart raced behind the vest; I thought drug dealers might come out firing.

We went inside the house, with Melton pointing out the bad condition and the smell. I felt repulsed by the conditions and violated on behalf of Jonathan. Wright picked up an eviction notice from the landlord; he had 30 days due to non-payment of rent. I looked around at rotting wood and peeling paint and wondered how much he was supposed to pay, as Melton promised to get him help and asked him, along with another man eating oatmeal in front of the TV, the last time he did drugs. He told Melton that some kids across the street, a couple houses down, had some pot he had smoked. Melton left the house and headed their direction.

April 2, 11:55 p.m.: Surprise, Surprise

This time, my stomach was really in a knot, knowing that the people in this house had no clue we might be knocking on their door late on a Sunday night. I hung back at the street, as Melton roused the inhabitants—two young men and a young woman—and the guards searched the house with flashlights. I joined them, though, when it was clear that no one was likely to come out firing at the intruders.

On the porch, one of the young men told Melton he was studying graphic design at Antonelli College, and the young woman said she attends Hinds. Her boyfriend, however, said he had a hard time finding a job. Melton asked him how much pot he smoked. "Too much," eventually came the reply. I would soon learn that many Jacksonians will tell Melton the last time they did drugs once he starts joking around with them.

He flirted a bit with the young woman, while telling her to make her boyfriend stop smoking pot and get a job, perhaps with the city. "Why you are in there sleeping with him if he ain't got no damn job?" Then, as our group turned to leave the porch, Melton turned back to the young woman and asked: "What time are y'all gone f-ck so I can come up in here and catch you? I want to make life miserable for you."

"Frank!" she responded with shock.

April 2, 12:10 a.m.: Like A Band of Gypsies

Melton seemed eager to show that he also likes to surprise white folks on his midnight raids. He had told me several times that he goes to Pops Around the Corner in South Jackson and gets them to play "On the Road Again." So that's what we did.

When we parked in front of Pops, someone said, "Charles Hobby just pulled up." Indeed, the investor in some of the strip clubs Melton recently closed (and one of his campaign contributors) had pulled up beside us in his white Cadillac. I wondered if there would be a verbal showdown.

Inside, Melton waved at an amused collection of folks who looked like they needed to go home soon. The Silverado Band had packed up for the night, but Melton asked the drummer and guitarist to perform his favorite Willie Nelson song. They unpacked enough equipment to do a duet, as Melton stood on the red-and-white dance floor alone, clapping not entirely to the beat and looking very much in control as the men sang, "Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway." Hobby sat at the bar. No words were exchanged. We left right after the song ended.

April 2, 12:55 a.m.: Bad for Business

Melton decided to end the night with a visit to Birdland on Farish Street. Wright pulled the RV right in front of the packed dance club and parked, blocking the entire street. I walked into the club right behind Melton in a single file with Recio and Wright behind me, recognizing a number of JFP readers along the way. (One, Miss Keke, ran up and hugged me; I realized that probably wasn't very SWAT team of me.) We walked slowly through the packed club as gazes followed us, some happy to see us, others shooting hatred. Melton talked to the deejay, then we left.

We then wandered down West Oakley Street, where a number of people were hanging out with barbecue grills, selling sausages and burgers to hungry partiers. We stopped at the house of a young man, "Blue Jean," who seems to run several enterprises on the street—including charging $5 for parking—who is also the son of someone who worked for the Harvey Johnson campaign, Melton told me. Melton walked directly into his house with the bodyguards flashing lights all around.

Back outside, we stood and talked to a group around the barbecue for at least 20 minutes—an exchange that showed how much ease Melton travels with in the neighborhoods he freely calls his own. When we headed back to the RV, the manager of Birdland came up and begged the mayor not to block traffic and scare people away from his business again. "You do important work, but I have to run a business here," he said, his neat dreadlocks cascading down his back.

"OK," Melton said.

April 9, 8 p.m.: Arresting the Witness?

Photographer Kate Medley and illustrator Darren Schwindaman joined me in another ride-along with Melton and his sidekicks. This time, JPD Sgt. Billy May—;a long-time friend of Melton who assisted with Wood Street arrests—took the place of Chief Sandifer, who was out of town visiting his wife and children. We joined the brigade in progress at the Exxon on Bailey Avenue and Woodrow Wilson, where they had just made an arrest for pot possession.

After we got on the RV, and followed by TV news crews, we headed to the apartment of the mother of Wood Street witness Christopher Walker, who has been living with Melton. The mayor surprised me by saying that Walker had confessed to him that day that he had assisted in the murder of Harrison Hilliard—Melton had told me that previously—and, thus, he had an arrest warrant for him. Melton approached the door with a brown shotgun—he looked like a black Buford Pusser to me—but Walker wasn't there. Soon the other media departed after a short press conference in which Melton railed against "Batman" Donelson. Back to our core group, we soon headed toward the same heavy cruising spots we had hit the week before.

April 9, 9 p.m., Heart to Heart

First, though, Melton wanted to go check on "Poo Poo," 19, whom he believes was the target of gunfire that recently hit a 7-year-old girl. In an apartment complex, near Bailey Avenue, we talked first to the boy's mother, Vern, a former cocaine addict that Melton said he and his wife had moved to Tyler to help. Then Poo Poo arrived, and Melton sat in the courtyard at a picnic table and talked to him about why people were shooting at him. "How are you doing? Are you scared? Do you need to go with me?" Melton asked. The young man said no.

April 9, 9:25 p.m.: I Need Protection

This time, Melton was almost single-mindedly focused on confiscating guns. The shooting the week before had made an impression on him, with him calling me Saturday to tell me he was going to outlaw gun shows in Jackson. We spent most of the next couple of hours watching Melton and other officers—we were joined by some we didn't know as well—walking down Bailey Avenue or Northside Drive, approaching cars and asking if he and Abby, who he said could sniff out guns, could search the vehicle. No one said no, although some clearly wanted to. Others seemed happy to see it happening.

Melton found several semiautomatic handguns in cars. But every one of them turned out to be legal. The mayor kept asking the same question, as if he had never considered the proliferation of guns before: "Why are you carrying a gun?" The answer was always the same: "For protection. Everyone else has a gun."

While they were searching, a member of the Donelson family called me on my cell phone to tell me Melton had stormed Batman's mother's house earlier that night. "He don't have no business going on people's property, going up in there with machine guns," she told me as I watched Melton search cars.

April 9, 10:05 p.m.: Past Curfew

Melton approached a car on Bailey Avenue with a 15-year-old on the passenger side. Melton smelled pot and asked the young man the last time he smoked. He finally said, "About two hours ago." Melton then lectured him on the need to put the pot aside and make something of himself, adding, "You know, I can put you in that bus and you to jail right now." He didn't, though.

April 9, 10:30 p.m.: Don't Cry, Son

The RV pulled into a gas station on Bailey Avenue. Recio saw a Cadillac with young men who seemed too young for curfew. He told them not to pull away on the loudspeaker. However, they started to pull anyway. The cops hopped out of the RV and ran after them, as I hid behind a gas pump. As Recio approached, he said he saw a weapon in the driver's lap. The police all drew their weapons. I ducked farther behind the pump, as a man next to me getting gas talked casually about how glad he was that Melton was doing this. I approached and stood next to Melton after police had taken the gun.

Melton talked to the 21-year-old, Brandon, who was wearing a big jeweled cross, and crying and stuttering with fear. "No, no, no, don't cry. Dry your eyes," Melton said. "Is this legally registered?" It was. "Why do you carry a gun?" the mayor asked. "For protection." "Why?" "Because people are crazy." He said he was afraid someone would try to rob him for his rims. He bought the gun, he said, at Academy Sport with a credit card. Melton sifted through his wallet, and at least a dozen credit cards fell out. "Hell, I didn't have a Cadillac in college," Melton said. "You're advertising that you want to be robbed. If someone wants your rims, son, you park your car, get out and give them to them."

Melton told the young man, who is taking 16 hours toward a computer technology degree at Jackson State, to call the City about a job the next day. "Maybe you can help us fix our Web site," he said with a snicker.

April 9, 10:45 p.m.: Rules of Life

We visited with "Boomer" on Baker Street, whom Melton had taught to swim at the YMCA. We walked into the house, and Melton started yelling for his mother to come out, but she refused, yelling back she wasn't coming near "that dog" (meaning Abby, who wasn't inside). Soon, though, the sister emerged from her bedroom, blinking back sleep. As we stood under a heart-shaped "Rules of Life" sign—"Share, obey, be kind, listen, wash, floss, flush, recycle and call your mother"—Melton told Boomer the city needed lifeguards, and he would train him: "There's no one I trust around water more than you, Boomer."

Melton updated him on what "your brother"—Melton's biological son, Matthew—is up to in Texas. Outside, he greeted some women who came out to say hello, including two evacuees from New Orleans they had taken in. "Now that's grace and benevolence," he said. "And we need to do something about that boarded-up house over there," he said, pointing across the street.

April 9, 11:30 p.m.: My 'Education'

We returned to Farish Street—this time down Oakley so as not to hurt Birdland's business—and walked through Blue Jean's house again. After that, we flitted through City Lights—where Recio said I would get an "education," which apparently meant to see gay people. They then took us to a boarding house on West Street where a couple of transvestites lived. I told them afterward I had covered the East Village in Manhattan, so I was hard to shock. Then about midnight, the RV dropped us at our cars in front of Cups in Fondren, the first time all night we had been east of Bailey Avenue.

Note: Two quotes above have been tweaked and expanded based on transcripts of the night's events.

Previous Comments

ID
79423
Comment
“ He flirted a bit with the young woman, while telling her to make her boyfriend stop smoking pot and get a job, perhaps with the city. “Before you go up in there and f*ck him,” he told her, “make sure he gets a job.” She laughed nervously.” And then later…. ” Inside, Melton waved at an amused collection of folks who looked like they needed to go home soon. The Silverado Band had packed up for the night, but Melton asked the drummer and guitarist to perform his favorite Willie Nelson song. They unpacked enough equipment to do a duet, as Melton stood on the red-and-white dance floor alone, clapping not entirely to the beat and looking very much in control as the men sang, “Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway.” Hobby sat at the bar. No words were exchanged. We left right after the song ended.” Dude….! Was David Lynch filming this stuff? ______ “The bus came by and I got on That's when it all began There was cowboy Neal At the wheel Of a bus to never-ever land” Garcia, Weir, Kreutzmann
Author
pikersam
Date
2006-04-12T18:51:39-06:00
ID
79424
Comment
Jackson, we have a problem!
Author
Kacy
Date
2006-04-12T18:54:01-06:00
ID
79425
Comment
After about 20 minutes, walking back to the RV, Melton looked at me and said, “Who runs Jackson, Donna? I run Jackson.” “Before you go up in there and f*ck him,” he told her, “make sure he gets a job.” Wow is all I can say regarding the above quotes! How effective does Melton believe any of this to be and what is it costing the citizens? Most of those communities know Melton is coming before the ignition is turned on the “command unit”. Melton is like taxes and death in and around those areas! Lastly, Thank god for the second amendment!
Author
K RHODES
Date
2006-04-12T20:46:48-06:00
ID
79426
Comment
To live the dream............it certainly seems that our mayor is doing exactly what he wants. Apparently he is living his dream. It just took winning the office of the mayor to make this dream come true. I remember when he would berate Mayor Johnson about the crime issue when he hosted "the bottom line". You could see it even then that he just wanted to walk around like Buford Pusser (walking tall) and command admiration from everyone that he came into contact with. If only Frank could channel this energy into his daytime job of being mayor and leave the crime fighting to our law enforcement. I wonder does he smile about his accomplishments when he sleeps?
Author
lance
Date
2006-04-12T21:37:01-06:00
ID
79427
Comment
Wow! Donna give me your opinion, If the police was going around doing the things you witness Frank doing, If it was brought to the citizens attention like this case, would the citizens of Jackson be complaining about various violations? Violations such as: Search & Seizures violations, Probable Cause, and so on. It is unfair to the career law enforcement officers, but common citizens wouldn't realize. Some of the tactics used by Frank are highly prohibited in formal training in law enforcement. If a police officer withheld information such as additional witness information or a suspect confessing to an officer that they committed a murder after alledged accomplices goes to trial, would that law enforcement officer be in serious trouble especially if the news media get the info? People look at the totality of the facts and circumstances in Frank's actions. Would you allow the police and dogs search your vehicle for no apparent reason (probable cause). If Frank get away with it, what makes you think the law enforcement agency that he is leading will not follow the leader. DON'T COMPLAIN WHEN YOU GET PULLED OVER FOR NO REASON IN NORTHEAST JACKSON (EASTOVER SUBDIVISION), AND GET SEARCH WITHOUT FRANK PRESENT. Continue to encourage him!
Author
Lspd2
Date
2006-04-12T22:47:07-06:00
ID
79428
Comment
donna...if you ever fear gunshots...PLEASE do not hide behind gas pumps!!!
Author
jp!
Date
2006-04-13T03:20:14-06:00
ID
79429
Comment
“Before you go up in there and f*ck him,” he told her, “make sure he gets a job.” -Melton How can this man call himself a savior of the children and a savior of the city and make such statements as this. This is shameful and embarassing to the integrity of the office of the mayor. This was an invasion of privacy on this couple. If he really wanted to help, why did he not take a different approach. Would he want a stranger talking to HIS daughter like that? Almost everytime I read something about Melton it literally turns my stomach. He preaches about the immorality of the strip clubs but its okay to "get down and dirty" when HE feels like it. He is going to end up bankrupting this city if people start standing up for their rights and defending themselves against him. Frank really believes that he is teflon. The way to prove yourself is to EARN respect. You don't go out and pat yourself on the back. I hope that the parents start keeping their kids away from this faint image of a leader.
Author
lance
Date
2006-04-13T06:40:09-06:00
ID
79430
Comment
I don't see any problem in Melton saying what he said to the young lady. Of course, he's assuming that they are sexually-involved, which could be wrong, but that's just straight talk. If dads would talk like that, there probably would be less issues with females (promiscuity, etc), but that's mere speculation. I do have the utmost disdain for his attitude that Jackson is "his" however. I have no respect for the example that he is providing to law enforcement. Disrespecting an individual's home, least much their mother's home is very discouraging. I can appreciate his motives, which is shown through part of his approach (talking to kids without having to handcuff/backseat them first...). It's just the natural fact that sometimes even our best motives get overshadowed by perceptions. I don't know, there's a catch 22. You don't really want the police running up in the party, but if somebody gets shot the first thing people say is "where were the police?" I'm from the NWA age (f*ck da police) but life has taught me to curb my passions with reality, since the police are performing a job. I only wish to see things operate with more fairness than what is the current practice. I think most of our leaders fail to realize that they have the possibility of making the wrong decisions (I mean actually acknowledge to themselves that they may need to change their ways, not just stand behind the "nobody's perfect" line). This does NOT take away from the positive work that is being done; however, negatives tend to outweigh the positives when actions are examined.
Author
lilsoulja
Date
2006-04-13T07:49:54-06:00
ID
79431
Comment
“Before you go up in there and f*ck him,” he told her, “make sure he gets a job.” -Melton I'm of two minds about this statement. On one hand, its really real ,if you catch my drift. And, well, sometimes people are offended when someone is "real" because its usually not pretty and doesn't give you good visuals or sugar plum thoughts. Melton has shown ONE thing and that is that he is "real". He may be really crazy, really misguided, and really needing some medication...but he's been nothing but "real" about street life since he got in office. (notice I say "real about street life"). I walk into these houses for work every day...and some of the conditions in which people live will startle you. Especially when they are in the middle of Jackson. On the other hand, its just plain disrespectful. Especially from an older male figure to a younger woman. Its shaming. It shows he has more respect for the male than for her. Like, "Go ahead, do whatever you want...but make sure HE is viably employed." Not "Hey, why don't YOU go get a job as well..." Come on, Frank, at least be an equal opportunity a$$hole.
Author
Lori G
Date
2006-04-13T08:17:48-06:00
ID
79432
Comment
donna...if you ever fear gunshots...PLEASE do not hide behind gas pumps!!! I know. I realized that right afterward. Cracked myself up a bit. I had been hiding behind Recio ... but he was too busy pulling his weapon at that moment. I'm new at this SWAT stuff as you might imagine.
Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-04-13T09:23:20-06:00
ID
79433
Comment
Donna Maybe you can get a bullet proff vest and a shotgun. (well maybe just a .25 to put in your purse just incase they need more backup).
Author
Melishia
Date
2006-04-13T11:17:55-06:00
ID
79434
Comment
Yeah, I'd be a big help, I'm sure. ;-) We're going to look for vests on eBay, though. If we're going to cover a police state, we need to be prepared for anything.
Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-04-13T11:28:32-06:00
ID
79435
Comment
I am completely outraged at almost everything Mr. Melton did on the drive-arounds. Why is Jackson putting up with this behavior? The mayor of MY CITY should not be talking to ANYONE the way he talked to that young woman. Please Frank, come to my house (at midnight?) and speak to one of my goddaughters that way. I guess I'd end up in jail. Not only are you being disrespectful to her as an individual, you are disrespecting the office you hold. And I'm not even going to address all the other liberties he violated on those nights. I guess he picks on people he thinks don't know their rights. But I guess he won't be visiting my house, I live north of Woodrow and East of Bailey. Turn my stomach? King Melton makes me consider moving.
Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-04-13T11:30:26-06:00
ID
79436
Comment
I don't see any problem in Melton saying what he said to the young lady. Of course, he's assuming that they are sexually-involved, which could be wrong, but that's just straight talk. If dads would talk like that, there probably would be less issues with females (promiscuity, etc), but that's mere speculation. -lilsoulja I respect your statement, but I vehemently disagree. I have three boys and one girl. I raised her by NOT letting her hear that type of talk coming from me. I hope that she will find someone that will give her the respect that I do. I understand that this dosen't reach everyone, but Frank did not know this female. And if he talks around his own daughter like that, then God help her. If you show respect, then you will get respect in return. If you show ignorance, then.............go figure.
Author
lance
Date
2006-04-13T13:42:53-06:00
ID
79437
Comment
this is the same Melton that he was before you guys elected him Mayor. (Of course now, it's hard to find anyone who voted for him.) i've known him every since he moved to Jackson and nothing about him has changed. (well, maybe the "power" has made it a little worse.) Anyone who couldn't or wouldn't vote for Johnson should have made sure they had a candidate to enter the race. looks like the CL has changed their mind about him. too bad cause they endorsed him.
Author
notme
Date
2006-04-13T15:11:46-06:00
ID
79438
Comment
FTR I voted for Harvey. huge supporter. Tried to get Johnson's campaign to loop HRH Frank with his finger in the face of the woman who's mama was dying in the hospital. Johnson's folks of course had too much class to do it. Grieving Daughter: You can't use my mother's tragedy for your campaign! Get those cameras off my yard. HRH Frank: (with finger pointing in her face) I'LL DO ANYTHING I DAMN WELL PLEASE!! Cause- he run this city, remember?
Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-04-13T15:45:27-06:00
ID
79439
Comment
sorry- He "runs" this city. too.angry.to.check.grammar.
Author
urbangypsy
Date
2006-04-13T15:46:44-06:00
ID
79440
Comment
i think this article did some of the best PR this mayor has seen in a while... this and the guns article have been some of the best reporting about any mayor of any town by any paper in MS.
Author
jp!
Date
2006-04-13T16:06:36-06:00
ID
79441
Comment
This is amazing! What a trip! It sounds like he wants to do the job that Moore should have been doing and let someone else handle city planning......what's wrong with how he's doing his job? I haven't heard of any Mayor of any city being as on hands as this fellow. What an amazing story. Maybe Jackson needs someone like him to start knocking heads and demonstrating real "tough love". Do you honestly think that Kane Ditto or Dale Danks was capable of anything this "on hands".....They and leaders like them are why that city is in the shape it's in now. I wish Frank were an absolute Despot.
Author
ATLExile
Date
2006-04-13T16:58:10-06:00
ID
79442
Comment
I dunno, I kind of like the street patrols, and I find it refreshing to see a mayor who is willing to be honest about the crime in west Jackson and shining a spotlight on problem areas. But I don't think his patrols have been as effective as some people would like to believe given all of the media attention given to them (including in this paper). How many arrests have resulted from the latest sweeps? How many guns or illegal drugs have been confiscated? And are they having a noticable effect on isolating and preventing criminal activity? No one is really talking about these things in a major way, and that is what is so depressing. I want to believe in this guy and his methods, but I need to know that his aggressive stance is working in a measurable way. Otherwise its just symbolism over substance.
Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-04-13T21:32:00-06:00
ID
79443
Comment
I need to know that his aggressive stance is working in a measurable way. Otherwise its just symbolism over substance. -ejeff1970 Well said. It's been stated that Melton is not a certified officer, he does not have a firearms permit, and has one of the worst conviction rates on record. With that being said I believe that he has basically good intentions, but his approach is horrible. In his inagural speech he talked about how he planned to bring in other agencies to fight crime which I thought was a good idea but it has not happened. It seems that either he is afraid that these other agencies will steal his spotlight or mayby they just are apprehensive about teaming up with a loose cannon. Either way we are not making any progress in the war on crime. A lot of people applaud his tenacity, but are the crime stats going down? He will probably post some outrageous numbers soon and say that crime has fallen to an all time low. I still say ask the victims of crime what they think. I believe that we will get a more accurate picture. He tried to tear down the King Edward and that failed. He tried to build a jail in the old McCarty building on Mill street and that failed. He tried to lock up all of the juveniles and that failed. He tried to get the Civil Service Commission of Jackson to resign and that failed. He tried to close down the strip clubs and that failed. With so many failures, how can he continue to operate? he uses that old weapon called Fear. He makes us think that we have the most notorious criminals in the US right here in Jackson and that may be very true. He says that he wants 'em all locked up and prosecuted. Then he is too impatient to let the system work...........he is the main reason that these cases are lost, dropped, or not even brought to court. So from a legal standpoint he is becoming just like the boy who cried wolf.
Author
lance
Date
2006-04-14T05:55:40-06:00
ID
79444
Comment
"You will see crime fighting like you have never seen it before." He wasn't lying about that! He failed to say then "f*ck everybody, and the Constitution of the United States of America, too." Something is seriously wrong with Frank. You can't do this John Wayne shit in 2006 without consequences. We don't have Hollywood, but we got Frank. I hope he keeps letting Donna go along with him. This stuff is far too amazing not to be memorialized. Hollywood has nothing on Frank. I bet he's as shocked as we are that he's getting away with this. When you elect a crazy somb*t@h don't be surprised by anything he does.
Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-04-14T09:47:19-06:00
ID
79445
Comment
"I run Jackson" "I run Jackson" Anybody else see a man on a power trip here? One thing FM is going to have to do is start respecting "Constitutional Rights" before he steps into the wrong territory. He may be banking on residents of the lower income section of Jackson to not know there Constitutional Rights in regards to Consenting to a Search but many of us do. The People also have a Right to be Secure in their Homes and not Warrantlessly harrassed by City Officials and Law Enforcement when they are in there Homes and his tough guy rhetoric has hampered and hamstringed a number of investigations & trials and one has to wonder is that on purpose also seeing as how he has such a close relationship to many of the people he claims he is going after. But I guess it is easy to assume such power when people are uneducated and concede to the demands of A Publicly Elected Official so willingly many people have never learned how to run their on lives in a Serious Adult Manner so conceding the power to someone like Frank is not such a stretch of the imagination AND THIS IS NOT JUST A JACKSON PROBLEM THIS IS AN AMERICAN PROBLEM. Lazy people just concede power to any publicly elected idiot all under the guise of the "Rule of Law" the same "Rules of Law" that discriminate against these same people........keeping the masses of people dumb and in a Consumer Driven State of Mind is destroying us all and allowing Constitutional Rights to be circumvented "Yours & Mine" and I know many of us who keep up with the National and Local Politics have noticed this but I will not be lead down a path of destruction b/c of a group of uneducated, unmotivated, weak minded people don't care what happens in there community nor country one would think Poor People (See "Blacks" and "The Katrina Fiasco") would have noticed there is a war on them right now but many of them don't seem to care about cleaning up there communitys nor coming together for a demand of better living conditions or atleast some self suffiency. I know there is large segment of the Black Community that doesn't even vote nor care about Politics and that is a Shame they would rather sit and wait on "A Single Man" to the be there "Saviour" as per the case of number of people that cheer FM on and his antics these same people are not going to ever take a proactive stance in there communitys to eliminate nor clean up the problems that plague it and some of these people complain to no end about High Taxes and High Energy Bills but you never here talk of it...... We as the Black Community have many problems and waiting on a "Single Saviour" (through religion or here on earth in the physical) is not going to cut it for us IMO I would love to see some of these people that flock to church every Sunday really open up there church doors to real community outreach instead of preaching on the ills of society and the Return of Christ every Week Year after Year the Same ol BS.....with no proactive steps... Sorry about the rant.....
Author
JAC
Date
2006-04-14T11:06:40-06:00
ID
79446
Comment
I read that the AG is looking into possible violations by Frank. I sincerely hope that he will not cut him any slack. I don't mean do as Frank is doing, but I really would like to see an investigation without politics (okay so I'm a dreamer). Frank seems to think that the dream world that he fantasizes about has spilled over into the real world. I can only imagine what Melton would have said if Johnson or Ditto had been doing some of the things that he has done. I hope that Batman's mom is okay. Regardless of what Melton thinks about her son what he did was inexcuseable, weak, cowardly, and everything else that anyone could think of. How great is my melancholy..........Martin Luther King JR.
Author
lance
Date
2006-04-14T13:49:31-06:00
ID
79447
Comment
JAC wrote: "Anybody else see a man on a power trip here?" Definitely. Pretty soon his head won't be able to fit inside the Mobile Command Center! “Before you go up in there and f*ck him,” he told her, “make sure he gets a job.” -Melton This statement really disturbs me. He blatantly disrespected this young girl. I don't care how 'real' he thought he was keeping it, he should not have said that to her. My first problem with this statement is I bet he would never in his life say something like this to his own daughter, and he would probably have a stroke if he found if someone else even said a statement like this to his daughter. My second problem with this statement is the fact that it seems he is advocating that it is perfectly okay for a young girl to have sex with a young man only if he is employed. So if the young man had a job as a human smugler then it's okay for her to f*ck him? This man talks like he has all his morals in check, I don't think so. It would have been morally right for him to say nothing at all pertaining to their sex life because in reality it is none of his. Or it would have been morally right for him to say somehting along the lines like: don't engage in sexwith him until you all get married. The problem here is that you can't mix the streets and politics together and have a pleasant outcome. You have to be one or the other, and it's about time he pick one. Secondly
Author
jan2006
Date
2006-04-17T10:14:24-06:00
ID
79448
Comment
I wrote: "It would have been morally right for him to say nothing at all pertaining to their sex life because in reality it is none of his." none of his business is what I meant to write at the end.
Author
jan2006
Date
2006-04-17T10:16:17-06:00
ID
79449
Comment
"You will see crime fighting like you have never seen it before." He wasn't lying about that! He failed to say then "f*ck everybody, and the Constitution of the United States of America, too." Something is seriously wrong with Frank. You can't do this John Wayne s*** in 2006 without consequences" -Ray Carter wrote. I totally agree with you. But will there be? I surely hope so. This man has committed perjury, tampered with witnesses, will only release public information when he feels like it, kept "suspects" in hidden locations without warrants, threatened media, invades peoples homes with shotguns because of 'threats'...... I mean I could really just go on and on. I pray the attorney general gets the evidence he needs to bring Frank Melton down back to reality.
Author
jan2006
Date
2006-04-17T10:23:11-06:00
ID
79450
Comment
"The problem here is that you can't mix the streets and politics together and have a pleasant outcome. You have to be one or the other, and it's about time he pick one." Disagree totally....that's where the problems actually occur. Politicians feel they are "above" the streets. Thus, they don't care what happens in them. No person is too good. Trying to be one or the other inevitably seperates you from a group. And everyone is a constituent! Someone has to understand and acknowledges the problems of the inner city. ...Thats the issue...no politician, president, mayor, governor, congressman etc. should "pick sides" We are ALL inportant but obviously the poor need more attention than the affluent. they're already straight.
Author
trusip
Date
2006-04-17T10:33:39-06:00
ID
79451
Comment
I understand your point if view. "Politicians feel they are "above" the streets.Thus, they don't care what happens in them. No person is too good." This is true in many cases. However, this case is a little different. Let me further explain my point of view. We have a mayor who says he knows the streets, who has a passion for kids in the street, etc. etc. Ironically the same kids he keeps trying to 'help' end up dead or either in prison or about to go to prison. The same kids in street that he knows sooo well and with whom he has a close relationship keep committing crimes, and simultaneously he's the one trying to put them behind bars for these crimes. Basically it is understood that he has a history with the streets and the people in Jackson (Had of MBN, WLBT: Bottom Line) but I digress from my point....... My point is that FM needs to be able to seperate himself mentally from the 'streets' and his job as mayor, which means governing all aspects of the city of jacskons government. Not just crime and certain people with whom he has had run ins with before. He is obsessed with the individuals associated with the wood street gang and the like. I don't mean he needs to seperate himself from the streets and feel superior but take on a professional attitude do better be able to do his job more effectively. There is a certain way that people who deal with the streets act in order to get the job done. (i.e.: when FM was at MBN there was a certain way he spoke and acted when doing his job to get across to the people: in order to catch a crook you need to be able to think, act and talk like one) In that same aspect he cannot apply that same way of operating to his job as mayor, there is a time and place for everything and the way he is conducting himself in this city as mayor of this city is not that of a positive mayor.
Author
jan2006
Date
2006-04-17T12:42:17-06:00
ID
79452
Comment
What good mayorial duties have Frank performed beisdes allegedly picking good people to fit within his administration. If memory served me correctly, some of the hurricane Katrina people he tried to assist wanted to kick his butt. I won't even mention his police work or John Wayne and Charles Bronson dealings.
Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-04-17T12:51:59-06:00
ID
79453
Comment
I couldn't resist doing this. It's electric. On the road again. Just can't wait to get on the road again. The life I love is (doing police work) with my friends. And I can't wait to get on the road again. On the road again. Going places that I've never been. Seeing things I may never see again. And I can't wait to get on the road again. On the road again. Like a a band of gypies we go down the highway. We're the best of friends. And I can't wait to get on the road again. On the road again. I ain't gone let no constitution and attorney general get in my way. And I aint going to let no Faye Peterson or city council keep me at bay. I can't wait to get on the road again. Sang it if you know it. On the road again. I can't wait to git on the road again.
Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-04-17T13:04:18-06:00
ID
79454
Comment
"What good mayorial duties have Frank performed...." -Ray Carter I don't know. The only good thing he has done is talk the talk. His intentions are good, but his method sucks, which is why he hasn't been able to put certain criminals behind bars. I think you (Ray Carter) mentioned something like this on a previously blog. "....beisdes allegedly picking good people to fit within his administration." Yeah, good people who seem to have no backbone; it seems he is able to easily manipulates his administration to doing what he wants them to do exactly.
Author
jan2006
Date
2006-04-17T13:10:05-06:00
ID
79455
Comment
I personally don't know the words, but keep on singing!!
Author
jan2006
Date
2006-04-17T13:12:54-06:00
ID
79456
Comment
A good politician is someone who is able to walk and talk amongst his constiuents and not feel like he's "above" them. Frank is definitely "walking" amongst the people, but the people don't know what the hell he's doiong because he ain't "talking" right. There's a detachment there...on purpose, if you ask me.
Author
JSU
Date
2006-04-17T13:13:55-06:00
ID
79457
Comment
this article made me feel very depressed. I really, really DON'T get it. am I crazy here, or is it completely illegal to do what he's doing? As far as entering people's homes without warrant or probable cause... it seems depressing to use illegal methods to "help" people. Confusing, too. Maybe these folks DO need help and they DO need straight talk rather than politics. But what is the message they are getting from Mr. M?
Author
Izzy
Date
2006-04-17T13:20:52-06:00
ID
79458
Comment
"Frank is definitely "walking" amongst the people, but the people don't know what the hell he's doiong because he ain't "talking" right." Maybe when he stops talking out the side of his neck and his a$$ the people might begin to undertand what he's doingand why.
Author
jan2006
Date
2006-04-17T13:22:09-06:00
ID
79459
Comment
How many of us gets to live out our fantasies on the big stage like he is doing? Only a few rich and lucky people. Willie Nelson's song with my additions captures him entirely thus far. Laurel, damn near all of it is outside the law unless the people consented. Even with that he needed probable cause or some reasonable suspicion to believe a crime was committed, and exigent circumstances to avoid getting a warrant. Unless he was just visiting friends, and the dogs, gun and entourage just happened to be with him? He can't possibly realize how stupid and lawless this looks. Thank God he took Donna with him so as to write about it. Jerry Springer aint got s*@! on Frank. Don't get me wrong, I love Frank, and am hopeful we can still get at least a year worth of mayor activities out of him. After all, he's ready to go on the Pearl River Project.
Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-04-17T13:38:05-06:00
ID
79460
Comment
"The problem here is that you can't mix the streets and politics together and have a pleasant outcome. You have to be one or the other, and it's about time he pick one." -trusip I agree with this assessment. I talked with some people yesterday that live in the Wood street area. They all are under the opinion that Frank is using this office to hide behind so that he can fight a battle of personality conflicts with certain individuals. He does not act at all like a city leader. He appears to be a ganster-wannabe and is doing a terrible job. We are no fasicinated by his brilliant ideas and big promises of how things are going to be anymore. We now face a reality that we could have been better off with even Whitlow or anyone else on the ticket. An even sadder realization that I have is that I believe that he (Melton) really gets his kicks out of the public disdain for his actions.
Author
lance
Date
2006-04-17T14:23:09-06:00
ID
79461
Comment
Frank, a ganster-wannabe? Maybe he's Big Pimping , too. I don't know. If Donna succeeds in unraveling the Frank mystery I will personally write every journalisn organizations in America and tell them why she deserves their highest accolades and awards. I bet Frank is sitting in the castle right now coming up with more big ideas. Soon he will learn to run them by his administrators, the city council, his lawyers, and gifted others before trying to execute. At least he hasn't started using any big words to confuse us yet.
Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-04-17T14:43:46-06:00
ID
79462
Comment
He tried to use a big word a couple of times but his lips got confused and he started to babble. Mayby he can get one of his highly trained bodyguards to speak for him.
Author
lance
Date
2006-04-18T00:07:21-06:00

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