Mayor Wharton: 'I have full confidence in Director Armstrong' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mayor Wharton: 'I have full confidence in Director Armstrong'

Mayor Wharton and Police Director Armstrong are back on good terms. Mayor Wharton and Police Director Armstrong are back on good terms.
The tension could be cut with a knife earlier this week when the mayor said the police department was in an unacceptable state. The tension could be cut with a knife earlier this week when the mayor said the police department was in an unacceptable state.
Wednesday, the Memphis Police Association lambasted the mayor and claimed he has been micromanaging the director and the department. Wednesday, the Memphis Police Association lambasted the mayor and claimed he has been micromanaging the director and the department.

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Memphis Police Department Director Toney Armstrong are back on good terms.

The tension could be cut with a knife earlier this week when the mayor said the police department was in an unacceptable state.

The off duty officer who shot and killed a teenager was at the center of the conflict.

Thursday, the mayor said the police department is perfectly acceptable but that it is the policy regarding the release of information in cases of public information that is unacceptable.

Wharton said he fully supports the police director.

"I'm about keeping the streets safe, not about the politics," he said.

It was Wednesday when the Memphis Police Association lambasted the mayor and claimed he has been micromanaging Director Armstrong and the department.

"A lot of crime scenes we have the mayor showing up. Why? Let the director be the director. Let the police be the police. You be the mayor. Run the city," said Michael Williams, Memphis Police Association.

Wharton defended his presence on certain crime scenes in certain situations.

"When I think it's appropriate, I will be there," he said.

He said the police union has an agenda.

"This is the same group that campaigned, spent money to defeat me. I wouldn't expect anything less than that," said Wharton. "They got a machine down there that cranks out all that stuff. And they're paid to do that. They're fighting for their rights to do that. But I'm not going to get into a tit for tat."

As for the shooting of the 15-year-old boy, Wharton suggests that everyone keep an open mind until all of the facts are out in the open.

But he said one thing is not up for interpretation and that is his confidence with the Memphis Police Department.

"Very clear, I have full confidence in Director Armstrong," said Mayor Wharton. "I don't tell them how to investigate. I don't tell them who to hire. You won't find my fingerprints on anything in the day to day."

As for the facts of the case, Wharton says he believes the public has a right to know what is uncovered as fast as possible in order to calm a rumor mill running rampant.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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