By Det. Tyler Owen, President, Marshall Police Officers’ Association
MARSHALL –On June 7, 2016, the Marshall Police Officer’s Association passed a “Vote of No Confidence” in the City of Marshall District 2 Commissioner Michael Mitchell.
This action reflects the dissatisfaction and concern among Marshall Police Department employees and Police Officer Association leaders that Commissioner Mitchell has abandoned the core values of the City of Marshall.
Instead of supporting the Marshall Police Department’s efforts to reduce crime in our city, Commissioner Mitchell has directed his efforts on attacking, not only the Marshall Police Department but law enforcement as a whole.
It is the desire of the Marshall Police Officer’s Association that we clearly and publically separate ourselves from the actions and attitudes that Commissioner Mitchell displays regarding law enforcement.
This “Vote of No Confidence” is in response to the many ill-conceived actions of the Commissioner, some of which are listed below:
• Commissioner Mitchell continues to vocally support the legalization of narcotics, even posting ways to “efficiently” cut large bricks of marijuana—precisely the kind that we as a department have to fight against daily. On this note, this city employs Officer George Gill as our DARE Officer, which proactively mentors to the youth of this great city about the consequences of using illegal narcotics.
• On several occasions, the Commissioner has interfered with criminal proceedings, while patrol officers are conducting community saturations to decrease crime. Commissioner Mitchell has “shadowed” police officers, conducting such traffic stops, and once the stops have concluded, he runs after the suspects and, once he gets their attention, represents himself as the police officer’s “Superior Officer.” He then provides them with his City of Marshall Commissioner business card and has stated, “I’ll be your witness in court, you voted for me, so I’ll take care of you.”
• Lastly, Commissioner Mitchell is creating a divide between police and the community. Although the Marshall Police Department has worked tirelessly to positively interact with the community and build a sense of “community family,” Commissioner Mitchell, using his position as a city leader (that represents all City departments, Police included) works equally hard to create division between his constituents and the police.
Commissioner Mitchell continues this destructive and damaging activity by posting hate-filled comments against police from all jurisdictions on his social media, encouraging violence against my brothers and sisters that wear this badge of Honor!
The Marshall Police Association recognizes and respects the position of commissioner of the City of Marshall and has many supporters on the current board.
However, we have lost any and all respect for Commissioner Mitchell to the point that we feel it imperative that we bring his attitudes and actions to the attention of the people of the City of Marshall.
The Marshall Police Officers’ Association has submitted an open records request for camera footage documenting Commissioner Mitchell’s misconduct. At this time, the videos have not been available to the Association. When those are released, they will be made available for viewing by any interested parties.
Editorial Note: An invitation via email from the Piney Woods News was extended to Commissioner Michael Mitchell to respond in writing to Det. Owen and the MPOA’s vote of no confidence. If a response is given, it will be published as presented, as Det. Owen’s statement has been.