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Corinth Police Chief Calls Reporter ‘Most Hated’ Man in Alcorn County

Corinth Police Chief Ralph Dance (Corinth Today/File Photo)

Corinth Police Chief Ralph Dance on Wednesday afternoon called a news reporter the “most hated” man in Alcorn County.

Dance directed the comments toward Corinth Today News Editor Josh Mitchell at about 2 p.m. Dance also told Mitchell to “shut up” and threatened to arrest him.

The confrontation occurred in the 1200 block of Wick Street in front of several people who laughed when Dance told Mitchell to “shut up.”

Mitchell was at the Wick Street location as a reporter because a SWAT team had assembled at the front door of a house nearby. Mitchell was in the same area as other civilians and did not cross any police barricades.

When Mitchell raised his camera to take a picture of the SWAT team assembled at the door, Assistant Police Chief Josh Fortenberry ordered Mitchell to not take pictures.

Mitchell was standing on a public street when he raised the camera. Fortenberry said he did not want pictures of the SWAT team taken for safety reasons.

Mitchell noted that the faces of the SWAT team members were not visible. Mitchell respects the police department’s policy, and, in fact, had posted other SWAT team pictures about an hour before in another location and purposely made sure the faces were not visible out of respect for the police department policy and the safety of the officers.

Mitchell also told Fortenberry that an attorney from the press association would be contacted in regard to a reporter being ordered to not take pictures on a public street. Other people, in addition to the reporter, also had cellphone cameras.

Mitchell told Fortenberry and Dance that he was doing his job, and that is when Dance told Mitchell to “shut up” and then made the comment that Mitchell is the “most hated” man in Alcorn County. Dance said Mitchell was also making the police department’s job difficult.

Dance ordered Mitchell to walk several feet away and said Mitchell could take pictures from that location. Dance said if Mitchell came any closer that he would be arrested.

Here is the picture of the SWAT team that Mitchell took at the scene with no faces visible.

27 Comments

  1. Ray Ray October 31, 2018

    With the rise of crime– and specifically violent crimes in Corinth, the Chief needs to re-evaluate threats in his city.

  2. Jeff Thompson Jeff Thompson October 31, 2018

    Keep reporting it is time that we the citizens know what is going on look at where the location is how close it is to our children that will be walking home and getting out of school soon … If it was not for your reporting we would not know to stay away from the area…. I agree with Chief dance that the safety of our officers need to be thought of but this is a democracy and he is not the dictator …

    • norman sheffield norman sheffield October 31, 2018

      Correct Jeff.

    • Stan smith Stan smith November 2, 2018

      Don’t be dumb

  3. Jeff Thompson Jeff Thompson October 31, 2018

    A Side not if you are the most hated man in Alcorn County .. your site sure has a lot of new advertiser and apparently a lot of hits…

    So guess being the grinch is a goo thing ..

  4. Truth Seeker Truth Seeker October 31, 2018

    Josh, keep doing what you do. Screw him. You have a job to do. Thanks for what you do.

  5. MaryLee MaryLee October 31, 2018

    If he cannot handle a reporter taking pictures at a crime scene without flyting off the handle I question his ability to run a police department. I hope he gets help with his anger before he does something that would require a DOJ investigation.

  6. Anon Ymous Anon Ymous October 31, 2018

    I’m sick of how the police do, or don’t do, their jobs. You have every right to be there and perform in the function of a reporter. The Chief can ask you to move or whatever, for your safety and theirs, but he has no reason to make it personal just because he may not like you. Keep doing what you’re doing brother and please, bring the jail docket back. Word is, you stopped doing this after Lee Price Boggs was listed due to outside pressure. This came to me via a long-term employee of the Police Department. I really don’t care, I just want to be up to date on the scumbags in my area.

  7. Britney Britney October 31, 2018

    That’s not how the chief should have responded but I completely understand his frustration. It’s irritating when you’re trying to do a serious job like that and you have a reporter right there. And of course this article did not mention what Mitchell was saying so it’s not really fair. But I’m just assuming he was probably asking questions and was distracting the chief because otherwise Dance would not have just had a random outburst. Mitchell is always posting certain articles just trying to stir the pot and get the community riled up.

  8. Stephanie Stephanie October 31, 2018

    Well I don’t like the face that this guy does stories before the family finds out it’s disrespectful

  9. Tyler Tyler October 31, 2018

    Is this news? Sounds more like a complaint that should be filed through the appropriate venues.

  10. Joe Hersey Joe Hersey October 31, 2018

    This complaint needs to be handled without being placed in the newspaper. This kind of repotting weakens the papers credibility. It sounds childish. Makes me think this paper is run by children.

  11. Jason welch Jason welch October 31, 2018

    I agree some of the news is hard to take, however it is still news and we want to hear. It is hard when it involves us but when it involves others we want to know what is up. So keep doing what your doing and those that complain tell them they just should not have been caught with there hand in the cookie jar.

    But if it is true that you have stopped doing something because someone or a group pressured you the. Get out of the new business

  12. Courtney Fair Courtney Fair October 31, 2018

    I don’t know Josh Mitchell at all, but I have read many of his articles and have been disappointed over and over at his lack of journalistic integrity and ethics. Showing up at personal homes where someone’s loved one has died just to get the “scoop”, showing no couth or regard for a grieving family, trying to report on police situations before they are safely or effectively resolved, reporting on topics with complete bias, appearing never to have even researched the “other side of the story…”. I just perceive Mr. Mitchell to be a young man trying to make a name for himself, but not realizing the danger he could be putting himself or others in reporting prematurely, and adding insult to injury of a family in cases where he is reporting unlawful conduct of a person, especially a deceased person. I have lost so much respect for this newspaper for printing some of this stuff Mr. Mitchell produces. Journalists must get back to ethics and integrity if they want their work to be respected. THIS VERY ARTICLE is proof that someone just wants attention drawn to themselves. It’s laughable that this article even exists. I would hope the newspaper and Mr. Mitchell himself would seek to conduct themselves with more respect for the community and solid reporting in the future.

  13. Jeff Jeff October 31, 2018

    Sure would be nice to hear Ralph’s side of the story. Sounds to me like some things were left out……

  14. Candi Candi October 31, 2018

    Obviously you wrote this article, Josh Mitchell. It is, as most of your articles, very one sided. The truth is that you do not respect law enforcement and try your best to provoke them. It’s very disappointing to read your “articles” where officers have been killed and you take the side of the murderer and interview their family. This happened in both incidents where troopers were involved in shootings. It’s a shame that the Daily Journal publishes your garbage and that you call yourself a reporter.

  15. Locate Locate October 31, 2018

    This is definitely news and needs to be archived as well as picked up by every local outlet within 100 miles. Flying off the handle and unsubstantiated arrest threats will no doubt come into play when this officer is being investigated for abusing his power. This type of deplorable behavior that is exemplified by Trump didn’t work for the airplane groper and it’s not about to keep you safe either, Mr. Dance.

  16. BB BB October 31, 2018

    He is reporting for the daily corruption. Dance should have misted a little OC in the air. Maybe next time

  17. Nick W. Nick W. October 31, 2018

    Maybe the reporter should comply. It’s a crime scene. I support our chief 100%

  18. johnpump johnpump October 31, 2018

    keep up the good work josh freedom of the press is a fact .. i thought dance was the most hated man in the city just under irwin or maybe christy burns

  19. brenda cayce brenda cayce October 31, 2018

    is asstant chief fortonberry related to the fortonberry thats mayor of the speed trap town of farmington

  20. Angel Renee Angel Renee November 1, 2018

    How do you write an unbiased news article when the journalist writing it, is the focus of the article?? Oh wait, you can’t. Don’t be such a snowflake Mr. Mitchell.

  21. Judy Montgomery Judy Montgomery November 1, 2018

    Yes. Maybe the Chief wanted to protect this reporter from being in the Obituaries. Don’t chase Policemen, Firemen, Ambulance, these are the worse times of someone’s life, & the personnel of these Services, don’t need distractions of any kind, including the press.

  22. Kay Kay November 1, 2018

    Ralph Dance is a very capable law enforcement officer. Trying to not only Protect the Public but also All Police Officers. Good for you Sir! Thank you Sir for all you do to Protect Us All! God Bless You and All our Police Officers.

    Mr Mitchell; while u also have a job to do; u must also agree the Protection of average citizens & All Officers is imperative. So quit whining & Obey their Commands. U will still get a story to write about. And hopefully not put anyone else at risk !!!

  23. Jay Anthony Jay Anthony November 1, 2018

    As the founder & leader of Ms.States largest & most active Firearm Rights groups,we support law enforcement AND Ralph Dance.He is A professional LE officer who abides by state laws & our Constitution.We in fact,fully endorsed his re-election to office.In THIS case however,i feel he overacted a tad with the reporter,probably out of continued frustration of the violent crime wave that’s been hitting Corinth for the last few years,MOST of which happens in whats called the “hood” area of town,being much crime brought in from gangs & drugs,AND illegals, flowing freely into the community.Being a single Dad raising a daughter in Corinth,i have personally witnessed open drug use,open prostitution,and routine nightly gunfire in Corinth Housings and so called “hood” areas.All of this naturally ends up in our local courts systems here,where it seems deals & fine money wills out against removing these thugs from the streets.We have built whats called JAILS in America,time to really start using them to remove these wanna thugs from city streets.And lastly,start properly funding local LE giving them the tools necessary to fight this crime.One can imaging how frustrating it is to LE to arrest these thugs just to see some judge let them out in our community again.How do these judges think these criminals are to pay their fines? Easy,they immediately go back to selling drugs,turning out young girls for prostitution and other unlawful activity.We STILL fully support Mayor Irwin AND Chief Dance.

    • Slugburger Helper Slugburger Helper November 1, 2018

      I am a white person living in a heavily white part of West Corinth, we have guns going off all the time here. This town is just full of trash – I say that as an outsider who has lived many places and fortunately will be leaving Corinth in three months. Don’t put your garbage town’s problems on one ‘hood’ (nice dog whistle).

  24. Dance with devil Dance with devil November 1, 2018

    Maybe you should do a poll
    Josh
    Raph
    See who the most hated of the two are

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