Analysts weigh-in on Herenton comments - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Analysts weigh-in on Herenton comments

Mayor Herenton at Thursday's press briefing. Mayor Herenton at Thursday's press briefing.

Local political analysts weighed-in Friday on why Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton went on the record Thursday on everything from an FBI probe to his letter of resignation.

An explosive press briefing Thursday, Herenton charged racism in the justice department - one standard for whites and one for blacks.

"Don't have a duel system of government," Herenton said. "Be fair."

Dr. Larry Moore, a Memphis professor, lawyer, and political observer, believes the mayor's preemptive strike is aimed to help him during a future trial.

"If you're indicted, if you ever have to face a jury and the black citizens feel like this is a racially motivated attack against the mayor, then you have got a pretty good chance of winning your case," Moore said. 
Many are speculating that the Feds are investigating the mayor for suspicious land deals involving city contractor Elvin Moon.

"The mayor's never been one to back down," Moore's aid. "If it looks like people are trying to pressure him, then basically this is his way of saying, 'Okay, if you're coming after me, then I'm going to up the ante."
The ante? The office of the Memphis mayor. Three months ago, the mayor wrote a letter saying he would step down at the end of July, Thursday he said he's staying.

Jackson Baker covers politics for the Memphis Flyer.

"He is doing revisionist history, backwards and forwards," Baker said of the mayor.  Baker believes Herenton is trying to discredit any future indictment with talk of racism, and wants everyone to forget his resignation letter last March.

"He is obviously conscious of his legacy," Baker said.

You can watch the Mayor Herenton's complete press briefing from Thursday in the video player on this page.

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