Tom Brokaw and NBC producers spent eight months in Jackson, Mississippi to see how one community is dealing with ongoing issues of race and poverty in America. The result is "Separate and Unequal," reported by Tom Brokaw, airing Sunday July 23 at 7 p.m. EDT/ 6 p.m. CDT. Brokaw and his team recorded a number of memorable moments and interviews that do not appear in the TV report. We compiled some of them on Jackson Mayor Frank Melton here.
Frank Melton, Jackson’s controversial mayor, was elected in 2005 with an 80 percent majority, running on a platform to reform the city’s infrastructure and to combat crime. Melton says he is passionate about fighting crime and helping the city’s young people. That passion, he says, is also his weakness.
Since taking office last year, Melton has appointed himself a sort of official vigilante. Wearing a bullet proof vest and pistols, Melton often patrols inner-city Jackson, puts up road blocks, and goes on drug raids. His tactics have been criticized as heavy handed, even possibly illegal. Melton says he has no intention of stopping.
Before he held public office, Melton became wealthy in the private sector, running WLBT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Jackson, from 1984 to 2002, when he sold the station.