BREAKING: Melton, Bodyguards Back in Upper Level | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

BREAKING: Melton, Bodyguards Back in Upper Level

Club-goers are reporting that Mayor Frank Melton, and an entourage including bodyguards, Dets. Michael Recio and Marcus Wright, arrived at the Upper Level nightclub in Jackson close to 2 a.m. today—Sunday, Feb. 11. The mayor arrived in a black Chrysler, witnesses say, along with several JPD police cars. There are reports that Chief Shirlene Anderson was among the entourage, but her presence could not be confirmed Sunday.

Under bond and probation terms, Melton is under curfew from midnight to 6 a.m. and must notify his probation officer at least 48 hours before any plans to be out past his curfew. "The conditions of your bond are also conditions of probation and any violation of either can lead to revocation of your suspended sentence," Dennis M. Grant, offender services coordinator for Probation Services Co., reminded Melton in a recent letter. It was unclear Sunday whether Melton sought permission to violate curfew as is required by conditions of his bond and his probation.

The last time Melton is known to have been at the Upper Level nightclub was the early morning of Sunday, Aug. 26, when witnesses say that he and his bodyguards—then armed—arrested club manager Tonari Moore, the son of owner Sandra Moore, who was videotaping their unannounced visit. Witnesses say that the bodyguards handcuffed Moore, then took him outside to the Mobile Command Center where several teenage guests stepped off the large police RV and roughed up Moore, who was still in handcuffs. As they were hitting Moore, the young men called themselves the "Wood Street Playas," witnesses say.

Earlier that evening, Melton and his entourage—including at least one 16-year-old, Michael Taylor—demolished half of a duplex on Ridgeway Street, claiming that it was a "crackhouse." Witnesses say the men entered the duplex twice that night without a warrant and then busted it up, with Melton using a large stick and others sledgehammers that they took off the Mobile Command Center. Two weeks after Adam Lynch of the Jackson Free Press broke the story, a grand jury indicted Melton, Recio and Wright for burglary, conspiracy and inducing a minor to commit a felony—all felonies. They are set to go to trial on those charges in April.

Taylor was later arrested for an armed carjacking that occurred while he lived in Melton's home.

Melton has a long history of visits to the Upper Level—which have led the owners to hire attorneys, including Sharon Gipson and Chokwe Lumumba—to both try to keep the mayor from harassing club managers and customers, and in response to alleged inappropriate acts committed by the mayor and his entourage.

Attorneys for the Upper Level are not yet commenting on the case. Lumumba will hold a press conference about the most recent incident at 2 p.m. Monday in his office.

More details as they develop.

Previous Comments

ID
91243
Comment

Wow! I'm speechless!

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2007-02-12T09:00:31-06:00
ID
91244
Comment

ladd, this man is mad. At some point, the law must be followed; otherwise, something terrible is going to happen. When citizens believe that their rights are not being protected. that there are some among us who have the appearance of being above the law, people began to take matters into their own hands. I hate to see this City go to the dogs like this. It is worse than the Wild, Wild, West. There are too many things going on in this City, to include the death of a Rodeo goer and two store owners being robbed and shot, for the mayor, the chief of police and felonous charged body guards to be at the Upper Level at 2am. Their finding was "too many people." Where was the Fire Marshall??? This situation is off the chain!

Author
justjess
Date
2007-02-12T10:30:17-06:00
ID
91245
Comment

True justjess. Here we have real crime happening throughout town; and, Melton would rather tie up several police officers to go play "daddy" to a bunch of young adults. Word is he wanted to show them his scars!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-02-12T10:39:35-06:00
ID
91246
Comment

meanwhile the miners are having to sleep at their shop in fear someone breaks into their place for the 30'th time.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-02-12T11:03:39-06:00
ID
91247
Comment

Truly sad watching the Capitol City rapidly degenerate into a breeding ground for vicious thieves bold enough to steal a radio station's van, rob and kill defenseless elderly ladies, or shoot convienence store clerks in the head for simply doing their jobs.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2007-02-12T11:12:38-06:00
ID
91248
Comment

And those are just the stories that make headlines. Scarier are the crimes you hear about on the street that DON'T get publicized.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2007-02-12T11:14:31-06:00
ID
91249
Comment

Has Mr. Melton learned nothing at all?

Author
tombarnes
Date
2007-02-12T11:25:50-06:00
ID
91250
Comment

My daughter was there. She said they came around 1:45 a.m. and said there were too many people in there and they were going to shut it down. The Fire Marshall was then called and he said that there were too many people. The club was shut down and patrons ordered to leave. Frankly, with all the killings and unsolved crimes going on in Jackson, I would have thought the police department would have more to worry about than too many people in a night club! Could just be my take.

Author
honey2me
Date
2007-02-12T11:48:06-06:00
ID
91251
Comment

Well, it makes sense for the fire marshall to do that, perhaps accompanied by a police officer or two. But the mayor? And his unarmed bodyguards? That's the problem. Honey, I'd love to talk to your daughter. Have her call me if she agrees: 362.6121 ext. 5 Thanks, Donna

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-12T11:51:38-06:00
ID
91252
Comment

OK, so a violation was discovered "in progress" as it were. Agreed, all this episode would take is a Fire Marshal. At least three persons in this "fact finding mission" were probably in violation of their suspended sentence and/or bond conditions. Guess the Judge never signed the restraining order agains FM. Nevertheless, if nothing is done regarding these violations of Judges' orders, then disrespect for the law and the seeming 'wink of an eye' toward FM's repeated antics will only encourage those who would test the boundaries of the law. To me this behavior began with residency and voting questions during FM's campaign and has esculated throughout his administration. He apparently believes he is above any and all laws while giving lip-service to obeying, enforcing, and respecting the law.

Author
ChrisCavanaugh
Date
2007-02-12T12:17:21-06:00
ID
91253
Comment

Donna, she's in class right now, but I did receive a text back from her saying that she would call you today. She does not want to be identified, but has agreed to simply tell what she observed while at the club.

Author
honey2me
Date
2007-02-12T12:18:04-06:00
ID
91254
Comment

Well, it seems obvious that a judge can't allow him to violate curfew, his bond and his probation. You just can't have such a double standard for a wealthy man while throwing the book at poor people. You just can't.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-12T12:18:58-06:00
ID
91255
Comment

I hear a press conference is being called concerning this.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-02-12T12:19:38-06:00
ID
91256
Comment

Great. Tell her to call. The more eyewitnesses the better.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-12T12:19:48-06:00
ID
91257
Comment

Right, it's at 2 p.m. in Chokwe's office.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-12T12:20:22-06:00
ID
91258
Comment

Club-goers are reporting that Mayor Frank Melton, and an entourage including bodyguards, Dets. Michael Recio and Marcus Wright, arrived at the Upper Level nightclub in Jackson close to 2 a.m. today–Sunday, Feb. 11. The mayor arrived in a black Chrysler, witnesses say, along with several JPD police cars. There are reports that Chief Shirlene Anderson was among the entourage, but her presence could not be confirmed Sunday. OK, how does he get access to Recio and Wright at 12 midnight? Were they on duty or did he call them and say "let's roll?" I can see the ease in rounding up some patrol cars that are out on the streets. How does he get such quick access to Recio and Wright? I demand that our City Council summon records of the hours Recio and Wright work including a report detailing their duties. This is ridiculous.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-02-12T12:22:26-06:00
ID
91259
Comment

great. they get pulled over for illegal lane useage about leaving his office. Not to mention because they run with the wrong crowd they will need to be taken into protective custody as witnesses in a court case.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-02-12T12:33:06-06:00
ID
91260
Comment

From Chokwe's press release: "The Upper Level Bar & Grill, along with its legal team and concerned citizens, request your attendance to discuss the recent intimidation, harassment and infractions of Mayor Frank Melton, Officer Michael Recio, Officer Marcus Wright and other members of the City of Jackson. We will discuss the blatant disregard for the law, and its effect on the community as a whole."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-12T13:08:00-06:00
ID
91261
Comment

"It is better to remain silent and be thought a FOOL than to speak up and remove all DOUBT." melton) said, "I don't want to govern." "I'm not a Mayor - I'm a leader." "I'm hyperactive - Let's get it on." "I'm going to shut them down." "Like I give a sh!t about what the people think."

Author
justjess
Date
2007-02-12T15:48:16-06:00
ID
91262
Comment

And don't forget: "I'm not going to ruin their lives over a damn thug."

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-02-12T15:50:06-06:00
ID
91263
Comment

Thanks Tom Head. The one you gave should be at the top of the list.

Author
justjess
Date
2007-02-12T15:54:09-06:00
ID
91264
Comment

The Ledge is reporting that Tonarri Moore's attorney, Sharon Gipson, was to have had a 2pm press conference today. I can't wait to get the results of what was said.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-02-12T16:04:43-06:00
ID
91265
Comment

Right, golden. That's the press conference we told y'all about in the above piece yesterday. ;-) We just came back. Let's just say that Chokwe is not happy and does not agree with Ms. Parker-Weaver et al that Melton is acting like a man of "the people." The digital file will be up shortly.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-12T16:08:41-06:00
ID
91266
Comment

AHHHHH! I can't wait to hear it! lc

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-02-12T16:10:07-06:00
ID
91267
Comment

Put his butt in jail.

Author
optimisticaboutNewJackCity
Date
2007-02-12T16:24:55-06:00
ID
91268
Comment

The powers that be will not put him in jail. There is no way. You can't tell me that the AG can't step in and do something about this man. Or, the judge. Or, the probation officer. Or, the citizens? However, if something does come out of this, I will be the first to eat my words. Still waiting on Mr. Allen to answer my questions from the previous posts...

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-02-12T16:32:28-06:00
ID
91269
Comment

It's coming. BTW, Greg Flynn of WAPT confirmed today with Probation Services that Melton did not ask for permission to be out past his curfew. (And a hat tip to WLBT for crediting the JFP with breaking this story yesterday. Cheers, guys.) Otherwise, the audio is on the way. It's hot. Here are a few little money quotes. Chokwe said they were there to "deliver an urgent message of outrage" because the "Jackson Gestapo have hit again...." He said that the Melton entourage issued no tickets, or found any violations, but closed the club that night anway, with Melton himself yelling out, "Shut the Mother Fucker down." He said that Melton is targeting the Upper Level to make white business owners who supported his campaign happy -- people who are "uncomfortable" with a black club in that area. He said "the mayor is running amok," and "not showing any kind of position of leadership ... this kind of behavior has to stop." He said the community would not tolerate such behavior in Ditto, or in Danks, and wasn't going to tolerate it in a "chocolate-colored administration." They are organizing, he said, to fight back. He said Melton is violating the same law he's accusing others of violating (the curfew). He said Melton thinks he's "God," and is leading "charades in blackface" when he proclaims that, "I'm the black mayor working for the community." Chokwe said: "He's not working for the interest of the community. Sharon Gipson said that witnesses saw Police Chief Shirlene Anderson there, but she stayed close to the vehicles. Chokwe said Melton brought 20 cops. The fire marshall has told WAPT that they were called there, but wouldn't say by whom. Chokwe said Melton was wearing some kind of badge around his neck. I asked Chokwe how he would respond to people who say that challenging Melton's crime-fighting methods is a witchhunt on someone who is trying to protect black communities. He responded: "We know a little bit about fighting witchhunts. I'm saying that Frank Melton is violating our people's rights ... (and) needs to be answerable to the community and at the ballot box."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-12T16:41:50-06:00
ID
91270
Comment

Hell yeah! Ahhhh.... I'm glad Lumumba is back.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-02-12T16:45:47-06:00
ID
91271
Comment

Once again, moonbats over at the JFP gnash their teeth over someone who tries to clean up the crime associated with particular nightclubs. This should be fun to watch.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-02-12T16:48:06-06:00
ID
91272
Comment

This is good. Can't wait to see if this will silence some of Frank's blind supporters. Chokwe is right and all of the usually vocal people who are now quiet knows it.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-02-12T16:49:30-06:00
ID
91273
Comment

"They are organizing, he said, to fight back." They should protest how our government hasn't implemented the Maple Linder Studies suggestion and how crime is spiraling out of control. They should say they are outraged at how the crime has spilt over into our governmental office and how no one is doing anything about the common criminal or the distinguished one. I know that's what I believe. I believe organizing a protest and supporting more police officers shows that they are for the city and for lower crime not against them. It should be obvious to most that they do because hirer crime rates will affect them just as with any other business. WE need to stop Melton before it's too late, what scares me is that people don't believe organizing and unitying will help change things in any way. If I still lived in Jackson right now and not a hundred plus miles away I would stage a protest. I'll be back in 1 and 1/2 years though and if it doesn't change by then you better be ready.

Author
optimisticaboutNewJackCity
Date
2007-02-12T16:50:11-06:00
ID
91274
Comment

"Somethin' got to be did...."

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-02-12T16:50:19-06:00
ID
91275
Comment

What we need are more attorneys coming down on him like a ton of bricks. I just really wish our other elected attorneys would do more.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-02-12T16:53:56-06:00
ID
91276
Comment

"Once again, moonbats over at the JFP gnash their teeth over someone who tries to clean up the crime associated with particular nightclubs. This should be fun to watch. " NIGHT club... key word is night. Nightclubs aren't related to crime anymore than any other place. Frank ain't trying to clean up nothing because if he was he would have hired the 200-240 police officers the Maple Linder Study recommended a city this size needed, but he waited until the school board was bringing up a 150 million dollar bond issue to say. Hey that's a good idea we could pass a bond to get new officers. This man is an idiot and I'm sure we all know it by now.

Author
optimisticaboutNewJackCity
Date
2007-02-12T16:54:17-06:00
ID
91277
Comment

I'm worried that if he goes down, he will try to go out in a blaze of glory with results that will be horrific.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-02-12T16:57:10-06:00
ID
91278
Comment

"I'm worried that if he goes down, he will try to go out in a blaze of glory with results that will be horrific." As long as he goes down. He could do just as much damage if we leave him in office.

Author
optimisticaboutNewJackCity
Date
2007-02-12T16:58:57-06:00
ID
91279
Comment

Cliff, you crack me up with these sarcastic short comments that I know others have foolishly said too many times. Frank has screwed up by going to the Upper Level last night. There will now be a split in the Black support he could have probably counted on. At least before this certain Blacks would have been quiet. Tom, a fool or leopard never changes his stripes. Frank reminds me of a client I used to have at a law firm. You can turn the world over for him today and he'll surely screw it up tomorrow or the next day.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-02-12T17:01:46-06:00
ID
91280
Comment

Ciff actually this one is a comment by a righteous person.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-02-12T17:03:32-06:00
ID
91281
Comment

Thank you Ray. I think they call it, "being hoisted by ones own petard", or someting like that. Whatever it's called, it's sure fun to watch.

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-02-12T17:04:40-06:00
ID
91282
Comment

Kim Wade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-02-12T17:05:13-06:00
ID
91283
Comment

Hey, if a moonbat is someone who stands up for the Constitution of the United States of America, then I'm a proud moonbat, baby!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-12T17:06:32-06:00
ID
91284
Comment

"Best of List" 1. "Let the man do his job..." 2. "If everyone would just leave him alone, and 'let' him do his job, he could stop crime in Jackson..." 3. "Let the man do what he was elected to do..." 4. "He operates 'outside the box'..." 5. "He really 'cares' about Jackson..." 6. "Go Frank, Go!" 7. "Well, he's still learning on the job..." 8. "Harvey Johnson Sucks!!!" 9. "The JFP Sucks!!!" 10. "This is all politically motivated..." 11. "Well, at least he's trying to do something..." 12. "The Clarion Ledger has a vendetta, and they suck too..." 13 "OK, he's made some mistakes along the way, but these thugs are out of control..." 14. "It's all one big plot out to get Frank and to help the thugs..."

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-02-12T17:07:09-06:00
ID
91285
Comment

Moonbat? Who the frick is runnin' around after midnight doing stuff they're not supposed to? frankie is the biggest moonbat of all.

Author
Cliff Cargill
Date
2007-02-12T17:08:54-06:00
ID
91286
Comment

BTW, Stephanie Parker-Weaver was nowhere in sight for this press conference, although the Jackson Advocate's office is next door to Chokwe's. And one wonders where Kenneth Stokes' loyalty will fall now–he's long been a huge supporter of Lumumba and his causes.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-12T17:10:26-06:00
ID
91287
Comment

I don't know but that's it for Franks butt if I have my way. I don't want him to go to jail I just want him out of office. If the local media let the ball drop and it doesn't go to court I have a back up plan with CNN. NANCY GRACE.....

Author
optimisticaboutNewJackCity
Date
2007-02-12T17:18:57-06:00
ID
91288
Comment

why hasn't she stuck her nose into all the weird stuff with the young lads in his charge? that is exactly the kind of thing she would be shrieking about.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-02-12T17:33:11-06:00
ID
91289
Comment

Right, golden. That's the press conference we told y'all about in the above piece yesterday. ;-) My bad. That's what happens when you read too fast and not pay attention.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-02-12T17:35:37-06:00
ID
91290
Comment

It's OK. Just didn't want you to think the Ledge was telling you something we didn't know yesterday. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-12T17:45:11-06:00
ID
91291
Comment

"why hasn't she stuck her nose into all the weird stuff with the young lads in his charge? " Because I just emailed her today.

Author
optimisticaboutNewJackCity
Date
2007-02-12T18:08:27-06:00
ID
91292
Comment

"why hasn't she stuck her nose into all the weird stuff with the young lads in his charge?" Because it isn't a white mayor. The national news media (please note, Donna, I said national and not local) only care about what happens in Mississippi if it deepens the racial divide. We shouldn't want the likes of Nancy Waste in our business, anyway. All it will do is bring us down. We need to be lifted up. And removing Melton from office would be a huge step forward for Jackson.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-02-13T20:09:23-06:00

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