Byrd blasts critics "who have political aspirations" - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Byrd blasts critics "who have political aspirations"

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd has lashed out at his critics.  In a five paragraph email to the media, Sheriff Byrd says he takes "strong issue with the implication that the Jackson County Sheriff's Department has failed to perform its role as a law enforcement agency."

The news release is written on the same stationary the sheriff's department uses to alert the media to criminal activity.  It's signed by Sheriff Byrd.  And it's dated July 12.

Sheriff Byrd doesn't specify why he wrote this release.  He notes that in recent months, he's been unable to comment on the facts of a case that's tied up in civil litigation.  He doesn't name that case.  But, in recent weeks, the sheriff was sued by former Ocean Springs Alderman James Hagan.

"When law enforcement becomes the stepping stone for political gain or the target of misplaced criticism, the ability of law enforcement to ferret out criminal activity and present it for impartial and fair criminal prosecution comes to an end," Byrd writes.  "I will not today, nor will I in the future, allow my office to serve as the prize target for those who have political aspirations nor will I allow those dedicated law enforcement officers who work with me and under me and who place their life on the line daily to be deterred in the efforts to investigate possible criminal activity because of threats of civil or criminal litigation."

Sheriff Byrd believes recent coverage of certain Jackson County cases by the media "cannot be measured as fair and balanced.  Unfortunately, I am prevented, at this juncture, from commenting specifically or challenging the complete veracity of those accounts."

The sheriff ends his news release with this statement.  "If the day comes when enforcement of the law is guided by the social, economic or political standing of a possible criminal subject, the criminal justice system will be meaningless and ineffective.  Likewise, if an investigation by a prosecutorial body or the filing of a civil suit is the leverage against good faith investigation by law enforcement, then, at the end of the day, the citizens of Jackson County will become the real victim."

Shortly after the Sheriff's statement was sent to WLOX News, we received this statement from District Attorney Tony Lawrence: "My office has and will continue to perform the duties required by Mississippi law. I cannot engage in a public debate about matters pending before a grand jury, which are mandated by law to be secret."

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Teachers receive STEM lessons from Ingalls engineers

    Teachers receive STEM lessons from Ingalls engineers

    Friday, July 20 2018 12:45 PM EDT2018-07-20 16:45:07 GMT
    Friday's day-long seminar was conducted by science engineers employed at Ingalls. While some of the instruction was verbal in nature, much of it was hands-on. (Photo source: WLOX)Friday's day-long seminar was conducted by science engineers employed at Ingalls. While some of the instruction was verbal in nature, much of it was hands-on. (Photo source: WLOX)
    Friday's day-long seminar was conducted by science engineers employed at Ingalls. While some of the instruction was verbal in nature, much of it was hands-on. (Photo source: WLOX)Friday's day-long seminar was conducted by science engineers employed at Ingalls. While some of the instruction was verbal in nature, much of it was hands-on. (Photo source: WLOX)

    For the 10th year, Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula played host to 10 Gulf Coast teachers Friday for hands-on STEM education.

    More >>

    For the 10th year, Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula played host to 10 Gulf Coast teachers Friday for hands-on STEM education.

    More >>
  • Sheriff: Man sent threatening messages to officer and his family

    Sheriff: Man sent threatening messages to officer and his family

    Friday, July 20 2018 12:43 PM EDT2018-07-20 16:43:39 GMT
    Colby Tolbert, 20, is accused of sending threatening messages to a school resource officer's wife after being arrested by the officer. (Source: JCSO)Colby Tolbert, 20, is accused of sending threatening messages to a school resource officer's wife after being arrested by the officer. (Source: JCSO)
    Colby Tolbert, 20, is accused of sending threatening messages to a school resource officer's wife after being arrested by the officer. (Source: JCSO)Colby Tolbert, 20, is accused of sending threatening messages to a school resource officer's wife after being arrested by the officer. (Source: JCSO)

    A Jackson County man is facing felony charges after authorities say he messaged the wife of a school resource officer, threatening to harm the entire family.

    More >>

    A Jackson County man is facing felony charges after authorities say he messaged the wife of a school resource officer, threatening to harm the entire family.

    More >>
  • Youth from around the world gather on the coast

    Youth from around the world gather on the coast

    Friday, July 20 2018 11:52 AM EDT2018-07-20 15:52:34 GMT
    Three dozens youth from around the world spent time on the Gulf Coast this summer, learning about a new culture and making friends with South Mississippi kids. (Source: CISV)Three dozens youth from around the world spent time on the Gulf Coast this summer, learning about a new culture and making friends with South Mississippi kids. (Source: CISV)
    Three dozens youth from around the world spent time on the Gulf Coast this summer, learning about a new culture and making friends with South Mississippi kids. (Source: CISV)Three dozens youth from around the world spent time on the Gulf Coast this summer, learning about a new culture and making friends with South Mississippi kids. (Source: CISV)

    It's a summer camp like no other, one that spreads a message of peace while allowing kids to meet youth from other countries.

    More >>

    It's a summer camp like no other, one that spreads a message of peace while allowing kids to meet youth from other countries.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly