The sixth amendment of the constitution clearly mandates that even the worst among us have the right to due process and a competent defense. Competence is a relative word, yes, but all people deserve a chance in court to defend themselves … even wayward constables who, pardon the pun, can’t shoot straight.
Mike Jones, the current constable of precinct four in Ellis County, has been the centerpiece of a sorry story that gets sorrier by the day. It’s a nonstop game of blaming others and a complete lack of accountability by not only Jones himself but by a defense team that seems to care far less about the greater good, namely the public’s safety, than it does about lining its own pockets. Since Jones can’t seem to catch on to the scheme, the court hearings, attempts at dismissal, weak defense strategies and positioning Jones as the victim rather than the perpetrator just drip, drip, drip.
For a guy who likes to portray himself as strong and tough, the endless excuses are rather sheepish and a bit soft, if you ask me.
Nearly three years ago, Jones and I had a little verbal scuffle one might say. Upon discovering that Jones was encouraging the public to disregard state and local gun laws and that using violence was the only way to deal with violence, I took issue with the man.
Jones had already been taken to task by other outlets for calling folks he deemed not to be American as “rock monkeys,” among other like vile. You don’t need to know much more than that to know how he sees the world.
Jones didn’t like my calling him out much, but as is always the case, I didn’t care then, and I still don’t. Right is right, wrong is wrong, and Mike Jones has been wrong for a long time. So have his equally troublesome pals. For the record, two of those pals, Ken Singleton and Johnny Brown, did resign from their law enforcement positions and moved on with their lives. Jones, for reasons that got him into this mess in the first place, doesn’t have it in him to follow suit.
For a law enforcement officer to tell others to break the law is egregious and illegal. Neither you nor I have to be a brain surgeon to figure that out. Add to the macho man aura Jones was peddling, he chose to also threaten the county judge in the process. When confronted with proof of his threat, Jones said it was just “political rhetoric.”
While his attorneys have proven to know what rhetoric is, I don’t think Jones does. Threats are threats. Stupidity is stupidity.
Now, a little less than three years and a bunch of transgressions later, we have more courtroom posturing to entertain us ... as if tampering of evidence, intimidating witnesses and misuse of county funds wasn’t enough. Despite Jones’ obsession to hold on to a job for which he is neither qualified or should have and a defense team who loves the headlines and is willing to dance a slick dance to stay there, this story must end.
Jones shouldn’t be anywhere near a badge or gun nor should he have an iota of power over fellow citizens. It’s analogous to playing with fire and it’s dangerous. As for attorneys willing to sacrifice public safety so as to make some money defending dirty deeds, I’m hoping the power of those public prayers will lead to wiser instincts.
Otherwise, all that dirt might never come off.