Wharton, MPA president spar over TACT stand down - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Wharton, MPA president spar over TACT stand down

Posted: Updated:
  • Wharton, MPA president spar over TACT stand downMore>>

  • Get FOX13 Breaking News on your mobile device

    Get FOX13 Breaking News on your mobile device

    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
    Get breaking news alerts on your mobile device direct from the FOX13 news desk. On average, you could get as many as three to five alerts on a busy day, as the news merits. Just fill out the form below
    Get breaking news alerts on your mobile device direct from the FOX13 news desk. On average, you could get as many as three to five alerts on a busy day, as the news merits. Just fill out the form below
DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong's decision to sideline the TACT Unit became the subject for open verbal warfare between Mayor A C Wharton and Mike Williams, the head of the Memphis Police Association.

Mayor Wharton accused the association president of lying when he alleged it was Wharton who made the decision rather than Director Armstrong.

Director Armstrong said he's never been a politician and sometimes it shows. But, there's never been any doubt what Armstrong has been and dedicated his life to for the past 25 years.

He's a cop and that shows all the time.

MORE: Director Armstrong stands by decision to stand down TACT
MORE: MPD TACT Unit ordered to stand down, commanders reassigned

He "suggested" it.

"I know for a fact that there are things that happen behind the scene," Williams said.

He vehemently denied it in no uncertain terms.

"It's a lie! It's a lie! It's a lie!," Mayor Wharton said. "It is not true! Mike Williams you are flat out lying."

Once again both placed him in the middle of a vitriolic war of words between the Memphis Police Association and the mayor's office.

"I don't know and I don't know how anybody could perceive this as being a political move when the facts of the case speak for themselves," Director Armstrong said.

A decision hastily announced last Friday to perform a two to three week internal audit of the TACT Unit after two of its members where shot during a barricade situation Oct. 15, proved to be the catalyst for allegations, denials and final confirmation from MPD Director Armstrong that it was solely his choice to make changes in the unit.

"I run the police department," Director Armstrong said. "I'm the director of police services. When the day comes that I have to reach out to somebody to get permission to make changes in this department, I will not sit in this seat."

But, while Director Armstrong stoically defended his actions, an unusually angered Mayor Wharton personally lashed out at Williams over his allegations the TACT Unit restructuring may have been made by the mayor rather than the police director.

"We are inferring that if it's anything other than Director Armstrong wants to do? Then that becomes an issue because that has been the case in the past," Williams said.

"Ask him what is he basing that on?," Mayor Wharton said. "I tell you what. He won't find one thing that says I directed that cause it's just a flat out lie. Man up Mike Williams. You're lying."

Director Armstrong said he met with Williams to try and straighten him out on just who is the boss on the 12th floor at 201 Poplar.

"He speaks for the MPA and the body that he represents," Director Armstrong said. "I feel like that the comments that he made yesterday were reckless. It causes a divide, because there are those who are going to support him and there's going to be people who support my administration as well.

"I didn't even consult with the mayor nor do I ever consult with the mayor about any decisions that I make in reference to the day to day operations of the police department," the police director added.

Click here to leave a comment on our Facebook page
Click here to comment on our Twitter

Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices