Town hall meeting about MPD resources sparks controversy - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Town hall meeting about MPD resources sparks controversy

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Memphis Police Association President Michael Williams Memphis Police Association President Michael Williams
SCLC President Reverend Dwight Montgomery SCLC President Reverend Dwight Montgomery
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A town hall meeting to address concerns about the Memphis Police Department's resources sparked a clash between the police association president and the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Memphis Police Association President Michael Williams was not invited to the SCLC's town hall meeting on crime. He says the civil rights organization is overstepping its boundaries by delving into police matters.

"Martin Luther King came to Memphis, died to help the sanitation workers, but over the past couple of years, the SCLC was behind the scenes trying to help privatize sanitation," said Williams.

After that explosive comment, Action News 5 contacted SCLC President Reverend Dwight Montgomery for reaction.

"Because of my spiritual intelligence and integrity, I wont get into a verbal fight with Brother Mike Williams," said Montgomery.

Montgomery pointed out he has publicly stated concerns with privatizing sanitation.

"Dr. King deserves, beyond this honor, not being dishonored by trying to privatize the sanitation department," said Rev. Montgomery.

Rev. Montgomery said his goal is to bring the community together Tuesday.

"I don't work one way behind the scenes and say something else publicly. I support the sanitation workers and they know that," he said. He also says he did not come up with the ideas out of no where. "Former Deputy Director of the police department Ernest Dobbins, who was on the police department over 30 years, serves on the SCLC board. He has expertise in police procedures. It was his idea to come up with specific recommendations."

Former Police Deputy Director Dobbins was not available for comment.

The town hall meeting will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Mt. Moriah East Baptist Church on Haynes Road.

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