Only on 5: Millington Mayor speaks out on playing police - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Only on 5: Millington Mayor speaks out on playing police

A Mid-South mayor accused of abusing his power is now speaking out. Millington Mayor Terry Jones admits to using his city car to pull people over.

But he's not apologizing. "The lights are there for safety reasons and to me public safety is a safety issue," explains Jones.

Jones says his job includes protecting the public safety. "If you look you can see mine are actually mounted individually," says Jones.

That includes pulling you over using the blue lights installed in his unmarked city car. "It's every citizen's opportunity to go out and help police. I mean, they can't be everywhere all the time," adds Jones.

Action News 5 Reporter Jason Miles searched the Millington City Charter and could not find a line in it giving the mayor police power.

"You as a citizen have a right to make a citizen's arrest if you see somebody you think is putting someone's life at risk or even injury," says Jones.

In a recent police report obtained, the arresting officer states that Mayor Jones spotted a truck with no light on and quote "activated his blue lights and stopped the vehicle."

To that the Mayor says, "And I could just see this truck barreling down with no lights on and somebody stepping in front and not seeing it."

But the case could get thrown out if a judge decides the mayor had no right to make the stop.

A valid argument says one defense attorney. "I would pursue the case to get the best outcome for my client--if that means challenging the citizen's arrest, I would," says Attorney Donnie McFerren.

The mayor remains firm. When asked if he would hesitate to pull somebody over using blue lights if he deemed it necessary, the mayor says, "If I thought public safety was at risk, I still don't see any reason why you can't."

The case involving the DUI is set to go to court in November.

Meantime, we talked to other Mid-South mayors who have cars equipped with blue lights. All say they are only used in cases of emergency, not to make traffic stops.


Click here to email Jason Miles.

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