In a now-public audio clip he said is four or five years old, Sheriff Cecil Cantrell threatens employees he calls "traitors" and "a cancer" and says “I’ll put a 2x4 upside your head.”
The two-minute six-second clip was posted on Facebook Sunday night. The clip comes days after a video circulated on Facebook of a work center inmate assembling “Re-elect Cantrell Sheriff” signs. Cantrell did not dispute the legitimacy of the video but called it a political attack.
“I was county judge for 24 years and I’ve served almost eight years as your sheriff. You know what kind of job I’ve done. This is nothing more than dirty, rotten politics,” Cantrell said of the audio clip.
He added during his time as sheriff, his department has made numerous drug busts and helped decrease the county’s crime rate.
The inmate video was posted to Facebook by Bryant Hargroue of Amory.
“People need to know what’s going on,” said his wife Brandi, who said she couldn’t reveal the origin of the inmate video. “A lot of stuff going on behind closed doors isn’t right. We want people to be honest with the people.”
In the audio clip, Cantrell appears to address employees who were against him.
“You traitors who are sitting in here, please find you a job,” Cantrell said in the clip. “Get out of here because you’re a cancer. Please move on. Please turn in your notice as soon as you can and find you a job. Move. Get out of here. You keep turning the Lord away, He’ll leave you. Well, I’ve left you, brother.”
The audio continues to state Cantrell saying he’ll “fight with you or I’ll fight against you.”
“I’ll throw down any time you’re ready. You may kick my tail, but I’ll get my licks in. You can believe it or not. And I’ll catch you walking through one of these doors down here and I’ll put a 2x4 upside your head ‘cause I’ll blindside you. I don’t fight fair ‘cause I’ve been doing it ever since I grew up as a little bitty boy,” he said as the clip ended.
Cantrell is running on the Democrat ticket and is seeking his third term as sheriff through the Aug. 6 primary.
The Monroe Journal obtained more audio from the meeting. Listen below: