Mayor Wharton Says He Doesn’t Meddle in Police Affairs

(Memphis) At an ice cream social, one Memphis woman asked Mayor AC Wharton if he is going to keep Police Director Toney Armstrong around.

“He`s going to stay as long as he wants to,” responded Wharton.

The mayor announced that after days of speculation there was trouble between the mayor and police. 

 Days after 15-year-old Justin Thomson was shot to death possibly by an off duty police officer Mayor Wharton said the department is hiring young and inexperienced officers. 

That had the Memphis Police Association firing back.  They accused the mayor of meddling in department affairs too much for political reasons and not allowing Director Armstrong to do his job.

“All of the crime scenes, we have the mayor showing up.  Why? Allow the director to be the director, allow the police to be the police. Run the city,” said President of the Memphis Police Association Michael Williams.

Mayor Wharton responded by saying “This is the same group that campaigned and spent money to defeat me.  I wouldn`t expect any less than that.”

The police union says Mayor Wharton undermines the department by showing up at crime scenes and talking to the press.  Wharton says it`s a part of the city cracking down on crimes, and he`s going to keep doing it. 

“Any murder is too far, but when you start coming into the parks and playgrounds sure, as the situation dictates I will be there,” said Wharton.

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