Mississippi GOP Ethics Committee Chair arrested after spitting on landscapers and attacking them with a shovel and other equipment.
From the “you can’t make this up,” file: Mississippi Senator Chris Massey incited a brawl in the street near his home because he reportedly “owns” the road. He had blocked the street while speaking to another man, both in trucks; and, after refusing the landscapers access to their job site, an altercation began when he or his father spit in the face of one of the hard working men.
A shovel, a tire iron, other lawn equipment, and threats of a gun would all be involved.
On a quiet street in Olive Branch, Mississippi, neighbors have been terrorized by the Senator before, one neighbor saying that he has been forced to call the police on Chris Massey “several times,” and had even gone, “as far as to make a sign warning other people about them.” Massey has reportedly even tried to draw his neighbor, Dale Spikes, into a brawl in the street.
The white Republican Senator, who is chair of the state ethics committee and vice chair of the state housing committee, was arrested for his assault on the landscapers; and, yes, at least one of them was black. Massey’s neighbor was dismayed by the actions of the Senator, the threats, and the way that the men were treated.
It makes me mad that they would treat him like he is nobody and wouldn’t let him come down the street.
Unfortunately for the landscaper Anthony Smith and his employee Marcus Lane, they didn’t see the “beware of Massey” sign, and they had never met him before–they now wish they never had.
The altercation involved Massey and his father, Jack Massey, who was actually the one to pull the first weapon, a shovel, when his son literally spitting on Lane caused the man to become angry. The GOP Senator would at one point threaten to get a gun from his vehicle and “kill [Lane] with his nine,” according to the police report.
Massey’s claim is simple, according to Commercial Appeal, this all started because they were mean to him:
The report states that Massey approached Officer Amber Kimbrough as she was getting out of her patrol car and said he was sitting in his vehicle in the street talking with the owner of the subdivision. Massey told the officer another vehicle driven by Smith ‘came up behind him and started blowing his horn.’
However, in light of his neighbors’ statements about his usual behavior, the fact that the altercation may have begun, according to the landscaping crew, with a blocked road and Massey screaming that “he owns this [profanity] road,” seems to fit.
Massey is proclaiming that he is totally innocent, of course. He claims that he is being wronged, saying he committed no crime–which would mean that the eyewitnesses and reports are all totally false. That would mean that his neighbor who watched him block access to the street with his truck and then treat these men like they “were nobody and wouldn’t even let them come down the street,” just lied for no reason.
Most people who work in upscale neighborhoods know the value of being nearly unseen and unheard. It doesn’t make sense that Smith and Lane would pull up, honking and yelling curses in a neighborhood where they work. But that is basically what Massey is claiming they did.
Apparently, Massey should really be chair of the bullying committee, not the ethics committee.
Chris Massey, his father, and Lane are facing aggravated assault charges; Smith is being charged with simple assault as well. It seems that this convoluted story will have to be hashed in out court, where Massey is expected on Thursday.
Chris Massey said:
I have committed no crime and have great confidence that once the true facts are known, I will be completely exonerated. I am disappointed that factually incorrect reports have been disseminated to the public. In the near future, the truth will be presented in the proper forum, a court of law.
In situations like this, you wonder if the GOP even understands what the word “ethics” means. It certainly seems that in the Mississippi GOP it doesn’t mean what they think it means.
Watch the local news broadcast, from WMCA here: