A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Frank Melton: Gun-Toting Mayor???

One of my best friends from high school and college will testify next week as a defense witness at the trial of Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Frank Melton.

Last February, Mayor Melton was invited to speak (by my friend) at the Young Democrats club of the Mississippi College School of Law. Later, Melton was arrested and charged with a felony for allegedly bringing a gun onto the campus of Mississippi College. However, my friend "did not notice whether Melton was armed when he was on campus." If convicted, the Democratic Mayor will be forced to resign from office. Read more HERE.

Frank Melton is indeed an interesting character. Elected in 2005 with over 80% of the vote, Melton is known for his "hands-on" approach to attacking black-on-black drug crimes. Melton has been accused of racial profiling by the ACLU relating to his drug searches and raids. However, many have called the charges against Melton to be politically motivated and a handful of civil-rights leaders have come to his defense - including Charles Evers, the older brother of the late Medgar Evers.

Less than two months ago, Mayor Melton was indicted on malicious mischief and burglary charges....

The 56-year-old Melton was indicted last week on malicious-mischief and burglary charges, accused of leading a group of teenagers with sledgehammers in smashing up a house that he claimed was a drug den. He was also charged with carrying a gun on school property.

If found guilty, Melton could get up to 50 years in prison. Two police officers who served as Melton's bodyguards were also charged.

The indictment was the culmination of a furor that had been building for months around Melton, the city's second black mayor in modern times, over his penchant for picking up a gun, putting on police gear and taking part in sweeps, raids and roadblocks despite warnings from prosecutors that he was impersonating an officer. The arrest has led many people in this crime-ridden city to rally to Melton's side. Days after his indictment, the mayor promised a throng of supporters outside City Hall that he would stay the course, despite calls for his resignation from some City Council members.

Ironically, just months ago Melton came under fire from NRA activists for promising to ban all gun shows on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds....

Dateline NBC is planning to cover Melton's Gun-Toting trial beginning next week.


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