Mayoral candidate blames incumbent for city's homicide rate - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 05/03/09

Mayoral candidate blames incumbent for city's homicide rate

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A Jackson mayoral candidate blamed Mayor Frank Melton for the rise in homicides last year in the capital city.

Democratic candidate Robert L. Johnson called a press conference at city hall Sunday afternoon.

He believes the homicide rate skyrocketed in 2008 because former Jackson Police Chief Malcolm McMillin, under Mayor Melton's leadership, did away with JPD's gun interdiction unit.

The team was in charge of getting firearms out of the hands of convicted criminals.

Last year Jackson police investigated 73 homicides.

That's the highest number since 1995.

"I am convinced beyond a doubt based on my professional opinion and my ability, had that interdiction team not been disbanned we would not see the number of murders that occurred in this city and that's shameful and that's a direct result of a lack of leadership from right here in city hall," said Johnson.

We contacted city spokesperson Goldia Revies for a response from the mayor.

She told us Mayor Melton refuses to comment on any allegations from other mayoral candidates.

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