Melton: Hood Is Wrong | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Melton: Hood Is Wrong

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Read PDFs of documents that Melton faxed to the JFP to prove that he can carry weapons places prohibited by state law. Click here for the PDFs.

Mayor Frank Melton takes serious umbrage with Attorney General Jim Hood's recent stern warning that the mayor can no longer play police officer by taking weapons into a long list of places where they are prohibited under state law—even with his new concealed-weapons permit.

In a pointed May 26 letter to Melton, Hood told him in no uncertain terms that he cannot legally carry a weapon into many places where Melton likes to carry weapons. "[A]lthough you now have a license to carry a concealed handgun, that license does not allow you to carry such a gun everywhere. Specifically, you may not carry a handgun in the following places." He then listed 19 specific places where Melton cannot legally carry guns, including: City Hall, courthouses, airport terminals, places where illegal drugs are used and dealt, prisons, jails, police stations, schools, colleges, public parks, parades, demonstrations and any place where it is posted that weapons are not allowed.

Melton called the Jackson Free Press late Friday afternoon to say that this was not correct, that he had the documentation to prove that he could carry weapons into those places. "The weapons thing is not the correct information … (that) you can't wear a weapon here, can't wear a weapons there, this, that, the other. That's applicable if you only have a Mississippi gun thing, but I have some another credentials that kind of supplement that."

"They give me the authority to do what I have to do within certain restraints," Melton added.

He then faxed the JFP a copy of a 1999 letter from then-Public Safety Commission Jim Ingram written to him while at WLBT, telling Melton then that he had permission to carry guns because he had been threatened. Ingram didn't say by whom.

The fax also included LexisNexis print-outs of Mississippi Code Sec. 21-15-9, which says that the mayor "shall be active and vigilant in enforcing all laws and ordinances," and Sec. 21-15-13 that authorizes Mississippi mayors "to call on every male inhabitant of the municipality over 21 years of age and under sixty years to aid in enforcing the laws." Neither statute mentioned guns.

As reported last week, the attorney general had included the Ingram letter in his legal analysis of Melton's actions, finding that "has no legal value whatsoever." The letter, he told the JFP again this week, might be a way for Melton to help convince a jury that he had been threatened, and thus weaken a criminal case brought against him—but that does not mean that it is a legal document that deems the mayor's actions permissible under law.

"As far as the law is concerned, it doesn't matter; that letter doesn't get you anywhere," Hood said in a follow-up interview Monday. He reiterated that Melton had presented no evidence that he had the necessary police certification to present himself as a police officer, or to be able to carry guns in the places where they are prohibited under the concealed-weapons statute.

Melton disagrees. "I respect the attorney general, but he's just wrong," the mayor said Tuesday afternoon in front of the Mobile Command Center parked at his house. He had just provided the Jackson Free Press with a folder of materials that he said would prove that he has the credentials certifying that he can indeed carry weapons into all of those places.

The folder included another copy of the Ingram letter and the two Code excerpts he had already faxed. A new item was a May 15, 2006, letter from Chief Shirlene Anderson to Southwest Airlines telling them that Melton and bodyguards Michael Recio and Marcus Wright would be traveling to Los Angeles on May 16 and returning to Houston on May 18.

"Officer Marcus Wright will be carrying his issued duty weapon, which is a Glock-26 (serial #HLA945) and Officer Michael Recio will be carrying his issued duty weapon, which is a Glock-26 (serial #EDF920US)," she wrote. She did not mention Melton or his guns in the letter.

He also included a photocopy of an "Official Identification" card from the Angelina County Sheriff's Department in Lufkin, Texas, dated Aug. 5, 1974, with Frank Ervin Melton listed as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff. On the back, Burl "Pete" McBride had signed it saying that he had "qualified as the law directs" for the position. In addition, the folder contained a copy of his Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics ID card saying that he was an agent "empowered" "to carry firearms," and perform other law enforcement duties.

At his house, he showed the JFP his Mississippi Driver's License, his new concealed-weapons permit (obtained June 1) and a white plastic laminated ID card listing him as a police officer, authorized by Anderson.

Still, Hood says that Melton is not qualified as a law enforcement officer in Mississippi and has not presented evidence of required certification or gun training to be exempt from the concealed-weapons laws.

"If there were exceptions, I would tell him, yes, you are allowed to do this," Hood said. "The law is the law, and you can't stretch it for anybody. If mayors want to get the Legislature to go change the law, that's fine with me. … But until the law is changed, he is just not a cop, and he can't carry a gun in those places (that) permit statutes say he can't."

Standing in front of his house, Melton said that he is doing nothing different now—except that he is only flying on his private planes. Otherwise, he said he has no intention of following Hood's instructions on not carrying his guns into places on the list.

"I've been carrying guns on my body for 20 years here, and I'm not going to change now," he said.

Later that day, Melton made a brief appearance at St. Andrew's Cathedral wearing a firearm, which violates Hood's instructions and state law.

See PDFs of the documents and other information on the Frank Melton Blog.

Previous Comments

ID
66436
Comment

I think it is time some people in town got a backbone. He fricking carried his weapon into St. Andrew's Church! I know, everyone is saying ol' Pike cares what happens in a church! ;-) But, I'm sorry if I was moderator of that forum, I would have asked him to kindly leave or leave the weapon in the car. There is a time and place for the bravado he wants. That time and place is not in a church holding a public forum on arts! Be the damn mayor and get over yourself!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-06-14T18:42:42-06:00
ID
66437
Comment

"...and Sec. 21-15-13 that authorizes Mississippi mayors "to call on every male inhabitant of the municipality over 21 years of age and under sixty years to aid in enforcing the laws." Neither statute mentioned guns." OK, does this not sound scary? Ben? Larry? Especially Larry? Do you really want every male over 21 to be able to aid in law enforcement?

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-06-14T22:49:46-06:00
ID
66438
Comment

An interesting item about the Angelina County SO ca. 1999. I wonder what it was like in '74 ? http://mediafilter.org/guest/Pages/April.19.2001.16.11.57

Author
JLYerg
Date
2006-06-15T10:32:28-06:00
ID
66439
Comment

All, those PDFs of the documents Melton gave me should be up this afternoon.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-15T10:35:59-06:00
ID
66440
Comment

Do the pdf's include a note from his mom? ;-D

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-06-15T10:40:56-06:00
ID
66441
Comment

No, but see Darren's cartoon in the print edition this week.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-15T10:44:27-06:00
ID
66442
Comment

Melton's nose thumbing at Hood should come as no great surprise to anyone. It was obvious, even after Hood's JFP interview where he tried to sound tough regarding the allegations, that he soft pedaled the so-called "investigation" of the DA's complaints against Melton. Anyone reckon Hood might FINALLY get the picture? Somehow, I doubt it.

Author
tomac
Date
2006-06-15T10:50:31-06:00
ID
66443
Comment

I'm not sure I agree that he did "soft-pedal," tomac. I've read the legal analysis. We have pitiful laws, and that's a huge part of the problem. However, it will be interesting to see how Hood deals with blatant violations of state law such as Melton wearing his weapon into St. Andrew's the other night in front of hundreds of people. And Melton can't say he wasn't warned. Now what?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-06-15T10:52:45-06:00
ID
66444
Comment

He need guns because phantoms, apparitions, and specters have been threatening to harm and kill him. As non-mayors we can't relate. Have some sympathy for him! Might I suggest, we should stop talking so unfavorably about him and instead call Ghostbusters. "Something strange in your neighborhood... who you gonna call...ghostbusters." We came, we saw, and we kicked some [email protected]@.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-06-15T10:57:51-06:00
ID
66445
Comment

Ladd, I don't think Hood will do much of anything except toss the ball back to the DA. Surely Melton isn't crazy enough to voice and show his defiance and utter disregard of Hood's warning if he didn't have some clue as to Hood's REAL sentiments; which he probably got during that private meeting he had with Hood along with Danks. But, we'll wait and see.

Author
tomac
Date
2006-06-15T11:22:48-06:00
ID
66446
Comment

Tomac in all fairness it IS the DA's job to prosecute. If Mayor does something wrong, she should have the ballz to prosecute him for it. No ifs, ands, or buts. She has jurisdiction over prosecutions, not Melton. As for the CC permit. I used to have one. If Melton thinks that allows him to take it every where, he's off his rocker again. You can't take it in a lot of places AND If a business (Northpark Mall for example) has a sign saying no firearms, that voids the CC permit. A reserve deputy eh? My understanding is reserve deputies have to go through training of some type and be recertified or go through their version of continueing ed to keep that badge and its authority. Like the NRA instructor said, where are his records from police firing ranges. and another thing, does it bother anyone he runs around handling police dogs when he has never been trained to do so?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-06-15T11:33:47-06:00
ID
66447
Comment

With Frank unwilling to change, Shirlene unwillig to step out, and the City Council unwilling to step up, I think I should finally sing the song "Crossfire". Day by day, night after night.... Blinded by the neon lights. Hurry here, hustlin' there....No one got time to spare. Money's tight, nothing is free....Won't somebody come and rescue us. We're stranded...Caught in the crossfire. Tooth for tooth, eye for an eye....Sell your soul just to buy, buy, buy. Begging a dollar, stealing a dime....Come on can't you see that we're stranded....Caught in the crossfire. Save the strong, lose the weak....Never turning the other cheek. Trust nobody, don't be no fool....What ever happened to the golden rule. We're stranded....Caught in the crossfire. Why won't somebody come and rescue us? We're stranded!

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-06-15T11:37:35-06:00
ID
66448
Comment

I give up, this man is crazy. There is no other plausable explanation. You can't make sense out of non-sense. The paranoia is out of control. Who will be on a private plane to take his life - the pilot, Hiedal,Marco, Reco? Is it eachother they fear or is it fear itself? This is truly a costly mission we are on with this guy and his playmates. They have put a new meaning to cops and robbers.- Cowboys and Indians. It is interesting that FM fears for his life; however, innocent citizens of the City are being killed, robbed, mugged. If they are looking for him (FM) why are they killing other people? This is a BIG SECRET: Don't tell anyone. NOONEISLOOKINGFORFRANKMELTON:ITISALLINHISHEAD.

Author
justjess
Date
2006-06-15T13:43:27-06:00
ID
66449
Comment

The real question now.... Does Jim Hood have the "balls" to take on Melton. If Melton violates any of the warnings Hood gave him, there would prosecutions. That is what he said in his press conference. We'll see if that happens.

Author
inside story
Date
2006-06-15T15:28:48-06:00
ID
66450
Comment

I still cannot phantom how Melton got his gun permit in just one day! EVERYONE else has a waiting period of at least 150 days! What is going on here? Melton says that his life is threatened and everything else has to take second place? This man is still abusing city funds to buy fuel for this Mobile Command van that he drives everywhere. He still carries his gun anywhere he wishes. He still goes on crime sweeps (even though it hasn't slowed the crime rate down). Let's face it.........the little man from Texas has come here and taken over. He has opened the door for almost anyone to break the same lasw that he has broken and they will be able to get the first pass free. God forbid that someone should get hurt because of his lack of training as a law enforcement officer and lack of weapons training.

Author
lance
Date
2006-06-15T17:48:40-06:00
ID
66451
Comment

Frank does not believe anything that anyone tells him because of his own self rightousness. He has proven that he will only believe in himself or anyone that agrees with him. He has singlehandly created the Greastest Show on Earth, Jackson's version. Starring the ringmaster (Frank), the circus security (Wright and Recio), the clowns (Stokes, Bluntson, and Tillman), the commander of the second stage (Anderson), and the rest of the circus (his remaining staff). It seems to me that Frank is daring anyone to put him out of office so that he can say that he didn't have a chance to implement his plan. His plan has been tried, it failed. Frank's true colors have come through as well as his horns have began to protrude out from his head. Wasn't he supposed to go over to Iraq or somewhere a few months ago? I will help buy his plane ticket and will not even ask if he's armed.

Author
rufus
Date
2006-06-16T08:11:26-06:00
ID
66452
Comment

Rufus, I have a dollar to contribute to the ticket and I too don't care if he's armed on that trip.

Author
justjess
Date
2006-06-16T11:30:45-06:00
ID
66453
Comment

Here is the latest from about Melton's military moves. I wonder if Haley likes being embarassed by Melton? Melton said he has the authority to commandeer military helicopters from Hawkins Field without any further approval. When asked if he planned to go ahead with his plans even if the governor objects, the mayor said, "Yes sir. That's the bottom line." ROTFLMAO!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-06-16T13:26:33-06:00
ID
66454
Comment

How can anyone not question Melton's stability or sanity at this point? I'm as against crime as any prosecutor, mayor, or police officer could ever be, but I object to this kind of crazy-man actions. We're not so bad off that we need the military. We need someone to break into Frank's house without knocking and force a dire strightjacket on his looney butt. If Franks showed up at Whitfield for an examination there isn't a doctor there who would ever let his crazy ass leave. I kept watching to see if he would smile and say the jokes on y'all but he never did. Proposing to bomb the city is all that's left!

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-06-16T13:58:30-06:00
ID
66455
Comment

he best be careful....he may sort of get what he wants....."tanks in the square" "helicoptors in the air"...the city suddenly run by the state based on emergency powers.....it's Prague 1967 all over again.....

Author
ATLExile
Date
2006-06-16T14:17:44-06:00
ID
66456
Comment

IMO Frank is still [email protected]@king for excuses to get a piece of that Big $$$ Homeland Security Budget $$$ what better way than to declare your city a war zone full of roaming gangs of Black Men.... Frank doesn't really seem to have an actual plan layed out for anything that he claimed he was going to do, meanwhile the entire infrastructure of the City is on shaky ground and the only things elected officials seem to be able to come up with is more entertainment types of venues and Big Wig Building investments, while Jackson really needs better schools, and more activitys for the bored youth of Jackson.

Author
JAC
Date
2006-06-16T14:47:49-06:00
ID
66457
Comment

Food for thought! –JPD RESERVE OFFICER CLASS TO START—PART1 It is my understanding that the Jackson Police Department has just announced that it is starting to recruit for a Reserve Class that will start on Monday, August 7, 2006. Now I know that in order to become police officers (including part-time and reserve) in the State of Mississippi, one must meet minimum standards by law to be certified. For the Jackson Police Department as well as many other large departments the process for obtaining recruits (test, paperwork, etc) takes months and then they go through an Academy. So has the process somehow been miraculously streamlined? Or could this be an instrument for Frank Melton to backdoor the process where he would be the star pupil in this academy class. The process for a person to be a reserve officer in the past has been the same as a person wanting to be a regular officer. They must fill out an application for employment, pass a stringent background check, pass a drug test, pass a polygraph test, pass a psychological test, and meet certain physical requirements. All of this before they enter the class! Lets look at each part. On the application will he put down Chief Anderson and Assistant Chief Sanderford down as references? Or will he go outside city government and put down employees that worked for him and were glad to see him leave. As to the background check: Would you like to be the poor detective given this file? Knowing that if you put down anything negative you could face what others have faced, termination, dissolving your job, or being transferred to oblivion. And if they do a good job and put down the facts, will it state how he has 2 pending lawsuits that I know of? (Perhaps more) One is in Meridian where he already has a civil judgment and could still face a criminal judgment for perjury. And the other in Texas where I am told he used his official title as the Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics in a personal matter. Which by the way is against the law.

Author
Missy
Date
2006-06-16T16:19:52-06:00
ID
66458
Comment

-JPD RESERVE OFFICER CLASS TO START IN AUG... PART2-- Or will they find out about his gang affiliation while he was younger in Texas. I understand that this came out in his deposition when he and the YMCA were sued over the tragic drowning of the young child. And lets look at the perjury thing. As a police officer you are required to testify in court. He can never testify without that incident coming into play as to his varicosity and character. And just look how many times he has been caught lying to the people during interviews. Then we have the drug test. I hope he not taking the same medicine that made him go into the terrible tirade on the Charles Evers show. Then comes the polygraph. I hope the poor machine does not blow up. I would assume that some of the questions would deal with his character in the past. Can you pass if you just plead the 5th amendment? And how would you like to again be the poor officer running the test? He or she too would be facing the same dilemma as the poor officer who did the background check. Then comes my favorite: The psychological test. We have already heard from two people who seem to be very learned in this area on one of the blog sessions where they described the symptoms for the dementia and other problems, that he seems to suffer from. I would love to see the scale on the MMPPI when he takes that test. And then we have the physical requirements. Could he get his bodyguards to handle that for him? …Now I am not saying that Frank Melton is going to be in this class. I just bring this up for food for thought because of the way this is all transpiring and the hasty way it is being done. And I truly do not know how you can get all of this handled when you do not even have a cut off time for the application and it takes so long to do all of the above things before the class can even start. Oh my! I just had another scary thought. What if he gets a bunch of his "notorious" friends to apply also. Like the guy that was a convicted felon that FM promised to make an MBN agent or some of the other convicted felons that he has hired since he became Mayor like Donald Ray Quinn!

Author
Missy
Date
2006-06-16T16:21:12-06:00
ID
66459
Comment

Isn't it interesting that FM dismantled/disontinued the City's Crime Prevention Unit - Totally disregarded the Maple-Lindy Study and the roadmap that led to a reduction of crime during the Johnson administration? Jackson was then given the status of being among the 6 most attractive and livable cities to raise a family. Isn't it also interesting that FM summarily dismissed over 50 officers shortly after taking office? He has strained/drained the City's budget with these useless "sweeps" which have not yieled any positive results. Melton boasted that he would be able to do more in 45 min. than former Mayor Johnson could do in 8 years. Melton boasted all over this city that he could run City Hall with himself and one other person. What a difference a day makes: Or should I say 'WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES!!" Now we find him making the unpresidented whinning, crying and begging for relief from the Governor and the National Guard. Lucky for us that the Governor and the National Guard Director know there jobs. It is a real tragedy for us that Melton does not.

Author
justjess
Date
2006-06-19T16:13:20-06:00

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