DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (localmemphis.com) - A DeSoto County voter wore a t-shirt showing the Confederate flag and a noose to the polls. Now the pic is going viral on social media and the rumors are flying.
On social media, the person who took the picture incorrectly identified the man has a poll worker. The DeSoto County Election Commission wants to make it clear he was not a worker.
That being said, one election commissioner said the man had a right to wear the shirt. Mississippi law only prevents people from wearing campaign material of people on the ballot when they go to vote.
The shirt shows a Confederate flag with a noose in the middle of it and the words "Mississippi Justice."
Election Commissioner Barry Chatham wants to make it clear this was not a DeSoto County poll worker. He learned about the picture after it was posted on social media.
“Well I was shocked when I saw it but there wasn't anything we can do," said Chatham.
Chatham says while the shirt is in bad taste, the man had a right to wear it. Chatham says Mississippi law only bans people from wearing campaign material if a candidate's name is on the ballot. This had nothing to do with candidates or campaigns.
"As far as I can tell the guy wearing the t-shirt wasn't violating the law." He added, "we don't have a law against wearing his expression."
Chatham says the person who took the picture is the person who broke the law. He says cameras are not allowed in DeSoto county polling places.
“We post signs that no cell phones are allowed and that is for the reason of pictures. You’re not supposed to be taking pictures inside a polling place," said Chatham.
People online identified the man in the picture as Clayton John Hickey, a former Memphis Police Officer who resigned after being arrested when he was caught with open alcohol and a 17-year-old girl. Currently Hickey has his EMT license. We went to his Olive Branch, Mississippi, home to ask why he wore that shirt, but no one would answer the door.
The person who took the picture says he felt threatened and offended.
To that Chatham says, “I'm sorry it happened. I apologize to anyone who was offended, but what can we do?"