Tag Archive: Sheriff


 

File:Hinged Handcuffs Rear Back To Back.JPG
Image Source  :  Wikimedia . Org
Author  Skiddie2003
Post-Gazette.com

A Ross woman sued Allegheny County today, claiming that sheriff’s deputies injured her arm and the jail’s former medical provider ignored her complaints, resulting in amputation.

Amy J. Needham, 35, of Ross, was arrested by county sheriffs on April 2, according to the complaint. Her attorney, Marvin Leibowitz, said she was the subject of a warrant because she missed a preliminary hearing on a charge that was ultimately reduced to a disorderly conduct.

When sheriff’s office employees arrived, Ms. Needham said she was using the bathroom, but they broke down the bathroom door, according to the complaint. They shocked her with a Taser, applied arm bars and wrist locks, and put on handcuffs “that were too tight,” the complaint said.

That treatment, according to the complaint, caused “compartment syndrome,” which is increased pressure in a muscle compartment that can damage both muscles and nerves.

Over the course of around a week in jail, according to Mr. Leibowitz, Ms. Needham made 16 requests to see a doctor, but was denied. She was finally hospitalized at UPMC Mercy where her arm was amputated above the elbow, according to the complaint.

Read More Here

Allegheny County sheriff responds to lawsuit from Ross amputee

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The New York Times

 

Michael Ciaglo/The Colorado Springs Gazette, via Associated Press

John Cooke is among the Colorado sheriffs who are resisting enforcement of new state gun laws.

 

 

 

 

GREELEY, Colo. — When Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County explains in speeches why he is not enforcing the state’s new gun laws, he holds up two 30-round magazines. One, he says, he had before July 1, when the law banning the possession, sale or transfer of the large-capacity magazines went into effect. The other, he “maybe” obtained afterward.

 

 

He shuffles the magazines, which look identical, and then challenges the audience to tell the difference.

“How is a deputy or an officer supposed to know which is which?” he asks.

Colorado’s package of gun laws, enacted this year after mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., has been hailed as a victory by advocates of gun control. But if Sheriff Cooke and a majority of the other county sheriffs in Colorado offer any indication, the new laws — which mandate background checks for private gun transfers and outlaw magazines over 15 rounds — may prove nearly irrelevant across much of the state’s rural regions.

Some sheriffs, like Sheriff Cooke, are refusing to enforce the laws, saying that they are too vague and violate Second Amendment rights. Many more say that enforcement will be “a very low priority,” as several sheriffs put it. All but seven of the 62 elected sheriffs in Colorado signed on in May to a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the statutes.

The resistance of sheriffs in Colorado is playing out in other states, raising questions about whether tougher rules passed since Newtown will have a muted effect in parts of the American heartland, where gun ownership is common and grass-roots opposition to tighter restrictions is high.

Read More Here

Multimedia

 

State Gun Laws Enacted in the Year Since Newtown
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Texas fertilizer plant explosion

Credit: Andy Bartee

A mushroom cloud rises from the West Fertilizer plant as seen frmo the popular Czech Stop along Interstate 35 in West, Texas on April 17, 2013.

See Additional Photos Here

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Authorities launch criminal investigation of West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion

Friday, May 10, 10:45 PM

AUSTIN — Hours after a paramedic in West, Tex., was taken into federal custody on Friday for unlawful possession of a “destructive device,” the Texas Department of Public Safety and the McLennan County sheriff said they are launching a criminal investigation into the fertilizer plant explosion there last month that killed 14 people.

But officials declined to draw a link between the arrest of the paramedic, 31-year-old Bryce Reed, and the disaster.

“At this time authorities will not speculate whether the possession of the unregistered destructive device has any connection to the West fertilizer plant explosion,” a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Reed remains in custody in Waco, Tex., officials said, pending a detention hearing Wednesday. If convicted, Reed faces up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Read Full Article Here

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Bryce Reed, paramedic responded to fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, shown in McLennan County Sheriff's Office booking photo, charged with possessing destructive device. (AP Photo)

Bryce Reed, paramedic responded to fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, shown in McLennan County Sheriff’s Office booking photo, charged with possessing destructive device. (AP Photo)

Image Source

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Texas police begin criminal investigation in fertilizer plant explosion

The Associated Press By The Associated Press
on May 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM, updated May 10, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Foursquare
texas-plant-explosion.JPGPolice launched a criminal investigation today into the April 17 explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, which killed 14 people.

WACO, Texas — Texas law enforcement officials today launched a criminal investigation into the massive fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people last month, after weeks of largely treating the blast as an industrial accident.

The announcement came the same day a paramedic who helped to evacuate residents the night of the explosion was arrested on a charge of possessing a destructive device, though it is not clear whether the charge is related to the April 17 blast at West Fertilizer Co.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement today that the agency had instructed the Texas Rangers and the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department to conduct a criminal probe.

“This disaster has severely impacted the community of West, and we want to ensure that no stone goes unturned and that all the facts related to this incident are uncovered,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said residents “must have confidence that this incident has been looked at from every angle and professionally handled — they deserve nothing less.”

The statement did not detail any further reasons for the criminal investigation and said no additional information would be released at this time.

 

Read Full Article  and  Watch  Video Here

autocollisionman

Published on Mar 22, 2013

SHERIFF’S NOTICE SHERIFF’S NOTICE TIME to Deputize your local citizens!

They  really  need  to  make  sentences  for  animal  cruelty and  animal abuse  more  substantial

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By Lydia Warren

PUBLISHED: 13:24 EST, 6 March 2013 | UPDATED: 13:27 EST, 6 March 2013

A dog who was found starving and locked in a cage at a foreclosed home is on the road to recovery, authorities have said.

The three-year-old dog, an Australian Shepherd mix, was found on February 22 by a real estate agent who was changing the locks at a foreclosed home in Leland, North Carolina.

The animal was found locked in a crate and was so severely dehydrated and malnourished that he could not move his hind legs, according to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.

WARNING: Disturbing content

Cruel: This emaciated dog, an Australian Shepherd mix, was found abandoned at a foreclosed homeCruel: This emaciated dog, an Australian Shepherd mix, was found abandoned at a foreclosed home

Disturbing images of the emaciated animal show his spine protruding from his back with his ribs visible through his skin. Investigators believe he had been left in the cage for three weeks.

He was taken into the custody of Brunswick County Sheriff’s Animal Protective Services and was named ‘Springer’ by staff. Dental tests suggest he is around three years old.

He remains at the unit and deputies have already had several inquiries from members of the public about adopting the dog, Emily Flax from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department said.

‘He is recovering wonderfully,’ Flax said. ‘He is very, very sweet-natured, very energetic and playful. He’s a very good boy.’

Springer
Springer

On the mend: The dog, who is believed to be three years old, is being cared for by the animal unit at the sheriff’s department, where he was named ‘Springer’ by staff. He will be put up for adoption when he is well

Heartbreaking: Investigators believe Springer had been locked up in a cage in the home for three weeksHeartbreaking: Investigators believe Springer had been locked up in a cage in the home for three weeks

 

This  report  says  the  cabin  was  surrounded and  police  heard  a  sungle  gun shot  from coming  from inside the  cabin.  All ther other  reporst register gunshots until the   fire starts.  I  find  this  very   curious…….

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Dorner surrounded by police in cabin after gun battle

February 12, 2013 |  2:15 pm
LA Now

Map: Approximate location of incident shown in red. Accused killer Christopher Dorner was surrounded by police inside a Big Bear area cabin after getting into a gun battle Tuesday that left two San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies injured, officials said.

Days ago, Dorner broke into a cabin off Route 38, a source said. He allegedly tied up the couple inside and held them hostage until Tuesday morning when he left. It is unclear whether Dorner stole their vehicle or another, but Fish and Wildlife officers knew to be on the lookout for a white pickup truck when they spotted Dorner driving one and attempted to stop him, the source said.

Dorner crashed the truck during the ensuing chase and allegedly exchanged gunfire with the officers as he fled into another cabin, where he was quickly surrounded by San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies. The source said one deputy was hit as Dorner fired out of the cabin and a second was injured when Dorner exited the back of the cabin, deployed a smoke bomb and opened fire again in an apparent attempt to flee. Dorner was driven back inside the cabin, the source said.

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

The extent of the deputies’ injuries was unknown. There was initial confusion as to where a helicopter should land to evacuate the injured officers,  so deputies used their own smoke bombs to give them enough cover to carry the wounded to a pickup truck that carried them to the waiting helicopter.

Officers have crisscrossed California for days pursuing the more than 1,000 tips that poured in about Dorner’s possible whereabouts — including efforts in Tijuana, Mexico, San Diego County and Big Bear — and serving warrants at homes in Las Vegas and Point Loma.

Statewide alerts were issued in California and Nevada, and border authorities were alerted. The Transportation Security Administration also had issued an alert urging pilots and other aircraft operators to keep an eye out for Dorner.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

The search turned to Big Bear last week after Dorner’s burning truck was found on a local forest road.

At the search’s height, more than 200 officers scoured the mountain, conducting cabin-by-cabin checks. It was scaled back Sunday — about 30 officers were out in the field Tuesday, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

Dorner allegedly threatened “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” against police in a lengthy manifesto that authorities say he posted on Facebook. The posting named dozens of potential targets, including police officers, whom Dorner allegedly threatened to attack, according to authorities.

FULL COVERAGE: Sweeping manhunt for ex-cop

Records state that the manifesto was discovered by authorities Wednesday, three days after the slaying of an Irvine couple: Monica Quan, a Cal State Fullerton assistant basketball coach, and her fiance, Keith Lawrence, a USC public safety officer.

Quan was the daughter of a retired LAPD captain whom Dorner allegedly blamed in part for his firing from the force in 2009.

Federal documents also provide new details on Dorner’s alleged attack against officers early Thursday in Riverside County.

The first shooting was in Corona after an eyewitness reported a person matching Dorner’s description at a gas station, telling an LAPD officer “who was detailed to the area to protect one of the officials whom Dorner had threatened,” according to the court records.

“When the officer drove by the gas station, the suspect exited his vehicle and fired an assault rifle at the officer, hitting the officer’s vehicle,” according to the court records.

The LAPD later said the officer received a grazing wound.

About 30 minutes later, Dorner opened fire on Riverside police officers “who were in the area searching for Dorner,” the documents said. On that detail, the account conflicts with a statement provided to the media by Riverside police officials, who said the officers were stopped at a red light and were not looking for Dorner.

Riverside Officer Michael Crain, 34, a married father of two who served two tours in Kuwait as a rifleman in the Marines, was killed in the attack. His partner remains hospitalized, Police Chief Sergio Diaz said, and it was unclear if he would be able to return to active duty.

Dorner was charged Monday with one count of murder, with special-circumstance allegations in the killing of a peace officer and the discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, in connection with Crain’s death. He faces three additional charges of attempted murder.

Riverside Dist. Atty. Paul Zellerbach said because of the special-circumstance allegations, Dorner could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

ALSO:

Dorner shootout: ‘Hundreds of rounds’ fired during gun battle

Dorner gun battle: 2 officers shot, ‘deputies are everywhere’

Dorner manhunt: Investigators pursue 1,000 tips about ex-cop

–Andrew Blankstein, Richard Winton, Kate Mather, Matt Stevens, Joel Rubin and Julie Cart

Map: Approximate location of incident shown in red. Credit: Google Maps

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The Reporter  states  that  he is  25 feet  away.  Since  when are  Press  and  civilians  allowed that  close  to   a  potential  shoot out?

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LAPD: No search of cabin so far, body not recovered

(CBS 8) – Despite several reports that fugitive murder suspect Christopher Dorner’s body was located inside a burned cabin near Big Bear, an LAPD spokesman made it clear officials had not recovered a body as of Tuesday evening.

In an 8 p.m. press conference, Cmdr. Andy Smith said the cabin had not been searched, and that it was still too hot for crews to enter and begin their investigation.

“Any reports of a body being found are not true,” Smith said. “Any reports of that body being identified as Christopher Dorner are not true.”

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. For an earlier story, read below.

BIG BEAR, Calif. (AP) — The extraordinary manhunt for the former Los Angeles police officer suspected of three murders converged Tuesday on a mountain cabin where he was believed to have barricaded himself inside, engaged in a shootout that killed a deputy and then never emerged as the home went up in flames.

A single gunshot was heard from within, and a charred body was found inside.

If the man inside proves to be Christopher Dorner, the search for the most wanted man in America over the last week would have ended the way he had expected — death, with the police pursuing him.

Thousands of officers had been on the hunt for the former Navy reservist since police said he launched a campaign to exact revenge against the Los Angeles Police Department for his firing. They say he threatened to bring “warfare” to officers and their families, spreading fear and setting off a search for him across the Southwest and Mexico.

“Enough is enough. It’s time for you to turn yourself in. It’s time to stop the bloodshed,” LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a news conference held outside police headquarters in Los Angeles, a starkly different atmosphere than last week when officials briefed the news media under tight security with Dorner on the loose.

A short time after Smith spoke Tuesday, smoke began to rise from the cabin in the snow-covered woods near Big Bear Lake, a resort town about 80 miles east of Los Angeles. Flames then engulfed the building — images that were broadcast on live television around the world. TV helicopters showed the fire burning freely with no apparent effort to extinguish it.

“We have reason to believe that it is him,” said San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman, adding that she didn’t know how the fire started.** She noted there was gunfire between the person in the cabin and officers around the home before the blaze began.

Read Full Article Here

** San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman, adding that she didn’t know how the fire started.**

Yet in the  videos below  you  can  clearly  hear the   police  officers  discussing  getting the  burner  ready and  that the  burner  had  indeed been  started.  So  if  they  don’t  know   how  the  fire  started   what   was  te  burner they were  referring to ?

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Christopher Dorner GunFight (Caught on Tape) TV Reporter Gets Caught in the Middle

Published on Feb 12, 2013

A local CBS reporter was caught in a huge police firefight with suspected killer Christopher Dorner on Tuesday.

Dorner, who is alleged to have killed at least three people, is in Big Bear, California, on the run from authorities.

Carter Evans, who works for KCBS and KCAL, was with police, and the station stayed with him on the phone as he reported the situation. Gunfire could be heard throughout.

“It certainly sounds like a lot of gunfire,” the station’s anchor said to Evans.

“We don’t want to get caught in the crossfire,” Evans said. Just then a loud, sustained volley of gunfire was heard. Someone shouted, “Get the f–k out of here!” More gunfire followed. When the anchor asked Evans if he was still there, there was no response.

CBS confirmed that he was OK, and Evans was back on air shortly later.

Correction: this post initially said Evans works for KTLA.

Cops torch cabin where Christopher Dorner was held up

SDSaxMan

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** San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman, adding that she didn’t know how the fire started.**

Yet in the  videos below  you  can  clearly  hear the   police  officers  discussing  getting the  burner  ready and  that the  burner  had  indeed been  started.  So  if  they  don’t  know   how  the  fire  started   what   was  te  burner they were  referring to ?

** Ok  we’re  going to go  forward  with the  plan  with the  burner  @ 1:04 on this  video and  further  on  dispatcher confirms going  ahead  with the  burner  and  a  fire  has  started…….hmmmmmmm

Published on Feb 12, 2013

Scanner recording of Cop Killer Christopher Dorner Held up in cabin.Listen to the actual conversation between the police as they plan and burn the cabin down.

Christopher Dorner’s Body NOT Found, Despite Reports

ssman?feature=watch” data-sessionlink=”feature=watch&ei=fTwbUfCOO8arsQK37oCIDw”>Les Grossman

Published on Feb 12, 2013

DORNER BODY DEAD cabin | LAPD told reporters that no body has been identified in the cabin in which Christopher Dorner was believed to have been hiding, following a shootout and fire.

“No body has been located yet,” Commander Andrew Smith said, telling reporters that the building was still too hot for investigators to enter.

“That burned cabin has not even been entered by investigators yet,” Smith said. “We are still on a holding pattern to search that.”

Earlier reports had indicated that a body had been identified.

The standoff with Dorner, a former member of the LAPD, reached a violent close near a rustic cabin in the Big Bear ski area east of Los Angeles. Since Feb. 3, he’s accused of a crime spree that left four people dead, including two officers, and several others wounded in shootings in L.A. and nearby San Bernadino County.

Chris Dorner Cornered: CNN Cuts Live Feed: Alex Predicts They Will Torch Him

TheAlexJonesChannel

Published on Feb 12, 2013

Once again CNN cuts the live feed so we cannot see the news.
http://www.infowars.com/cnn-cuts-live…

 NewsWithViews.com

SHERIFF WILL NOT OBEY UNLAWFUL, UNCONSTITUTIONAL ORDERS

By Sheriff Gil Gilbertson
January 18, 2013

[Note: The following letter was sent to Vice President Joe Biden from Josephine County, Oregon Sheriff Gil Gilbertson regarding the Constitutional rights of the second Amendment to the US Constitution.]

January 15, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20501

Dear Mr. Vice President,

As the elected Sheriff of this County, I am saddled with the duty, as well as responsibility, to uphold the Constitution and protect those people who placed their trust in me to do what is right.

I believe in our Constitution and all it stands for. We, you and I, are sworn to protect and defend our Constitution as required through the “Oath of Office”. This same Constitutional form of government provided us with the most privileged, and envied, country in world history.

Someone once said our country would collapse from within, without a shot being fired. No nation in the world can do more damage to the United States than we can inflict upon ourselves. We are keenly aware of just that by the accelerated pace in which our central (federal) government is usurping the Constitution. This lends itself to a much broader discussion, but for brevity sake I remain focused upon the Second, and Tenth Amendment issues.

It is so typical of the “big brother” mentality to punish the masses, for the heinous crimes committed by a few despicable individuals.

The Constitution, and Bill of Rights, guarantees liberties to the people. These documents, as you know, cannot be whisked to the side by regulation or executive order. According to these documents, the Executive and Judicial branches were to have NO lawmaking powers. The question then becomes how is it “executive” orders can be enforced as if they were laws?

As such, any rule, regulation, or executive order repugnant to the constitutional rights of the citizens of this County will be ignored by this Office, nor will this office, or the citizens, allow enforcement of unconstitutional activities by federal officers.

We refuse to participate, or allow our law-abiding citizens to be criminalized through constitutionally repugnant actions by misguided intentions or politicians.

 

Read Further  Statements made by  Sheriff Gilbertson Here


Gil Gilbertson has approximately thirty-years of national and international experience as a law enforcement officer, trainer, advisor, and senior administrator, in both military and civilian police units.

A veteran of Viet Nam, he has served in the U.S. Navy, Air National Guard, Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve. From 1975 to 1991 Gil was patrol and traffic officer, member of the special weapons tactical team, bomb squad, field-training officer, recovery diver, dispatcher, and jailer for the Waterloo, Iowa Police Department.

Between 1975 and 1996, Gil also served as a professional law enforcement instructor and advisor for the Special Tactics Association and the International Law Enforcement Training Group.

Beginning in 1996, Gilbertson served as the senior liaison for the International Police Task Force at Task Force Eagle, the American contingent of troops supporting the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was a country suffering from anarchy and a bloody civil war. Gilbertson later took charge of an intelligence fusion center sharing information between the International Police Task Force and N.A.T.O.

In 2005, Gil spent a short tour in Iraq advising the local bomb squads, and a national highway patrol. Later Gil joined a tactical team in New Orleans to secure and defend hospitals that had come under sniper attack in the chaos immediately following hurricane Katrina.

January of 2007, Gil was elected as Sheriff of Josephine County, Oregon.

Website: Sheriff’s website

E-Mail: jocosheriff@co.josephine.or.us

 

Second Sheriff Refuses to Enforce Gun Confiscation

Info Wars.com

With President Obama set to unveil draconian gun control measures he plans to pass via executive order while standing in front of a group of children, Mueller accused politicians of attempting to, “exploit the deaths of innocent victims by advocating for laws that would prevent honest, law-abiding Americans from possessing certain firearms and ammunition magazines.”

Mueller echoed the sentiments of Sheriff Denny Peyman of Jackson County, Kentucky, who earlier this week also assured residents that he would not allow guns to be seized under his jurisdiction.

“They asked ‘how are you going to pull these guns?’, and I said ‘you are never going to pull a gun from Jackson County,” said Peyman, adding, “I am responsible for the people inside this county… I couldn’t justify, if Obama passes this, it doesn’t matter what he passes, the sheriff has more power than the federal people.”

Read Sheriff Mueller’s full letter below.

 

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

Read Full Article Here

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Opposing Views

Children are being invited to participate in the ‘Kids First Gun Program’ by the Sheriff’s Department in Caddo Parish, Louisiana.

The four-hour course will be held on January 12 at the Sheriff’s Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy, reports the Shreveport Times.

The class will teach children between the ages of 8 and 12 how to shoot BB guns, pellet guns, .22 rifles, and small caliber shotguns.

The course is recommended for kids who received a new BB gun, shotgun or hunting rifle for Christmas or for those who may already have a gun. Kids can either bring their own guns, or the course will supply guns for them. No high-powered rifles will be allowed.

All children must be accompanied by an adult and will shoot at both fixed targets and skeet.

 KURT MILLER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Wal-Mart employees embrace in front of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Moreno Valley on Monday, Dec. 24. Police were looking for a man who entered the store carrying a gun in the morning and fled out the back door.
STAFF WRITER

 

He entered the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Moreno Beach Drive at 5:57 a.m., walked to the back of the store and asked to speak to a manager, according to Riverside County sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Morales.

“Some eyewitnesses are saying he was carrying an M16 assault rifle or maybe a shotgun,” he said. Carrying an M16 is illegal, according to Morales.

The suspect fled through the store’s back door, Morales said, though it’s unknown whether he talked to a manager. Officials did not know why he was there or why he fled.

The store was evacuated. A sheriff’s helicopter and investigators were on the scene more than two hours later searching for the suspect.

“We don’t know yet if it was a hunter looking for some ammunition,” Morales said.

No shots were fired, nobody was injured, no merchandise was taken and officials are unsure whether the gun was real or a replica. But, “It’s absolutely some suspicious circumstances,” the deputy said.

As of 9 a.m., people were still inside the store and nobody was allowed to enter, which put a damper on some last-minute Christmas shoppers.

“I got to do some shopping for my kid and it’s holding up my day,” said Clemente Baez, a 29-year-old Moreno Valley resident who waited outside the store for more than an hour to enter.

Around 9:15 a.m. employees started filing out the side door one or two at a time, and around 10 a.m., Wal-Mart employees were being let into the store. It was reopened to the public around 11:45 a.m.

— Staff photographer Kurt Miller contributed to this report.

Sheriff’s Deputy threatened for speaking out against federal power grabs

By J. D. Heyes,

(NaturalNews) It’s not supposed to be against the law to speak your mind and what’s more, Americans depend on the nation’s lawmakers and law enforcement officers to uphold the Constitution’s protections. But what about when a law enforcement agency is denying one of its own the right to speak his mind about, say, the intrusion of the federal government into state and local business?

In some parts of the country, exercising that right is apparently not allowed. Enter Trinity County, Calif., where the sheriff – Bruce Haney – has found himself embroiled in a civil rights lawsuit filed by one of his deputies, Mark Potts, for allegedly punishing Potts over comments he made about the federal Leviathan in a series of editorials in the local newspaper.

Potts, who filed his complaint in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, said in court papers he was seeking to “vindicate” his “free speech rights” under “federal and state constitutional and statutory law.”

“Defendant officers of the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office have reprimanded Mr. Potts for engaging in expressive political speech and have prohibited him from speaking as a citizen on important matters of public concern,” the complaint reads.

“This action seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to redress the violation of Mr. Potts’ rights under the United States Constitution, the California Constitution, and the Public Safety Officers’ Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBRA).”

According to the complaint, Potts said he began writing politically themed letters to the editor of the The Trinity Journal newspaper “several years ago.”

No disruption in the work place

“These letters, authored and signed by Mr. Potts in his capacity as a private citizen, addressed a variety of topics of public concern, including the wisdom and constitutionality of various laws, and the appropriate scope of federal governmental authority,” the complaint said.

The complaint went onto say that Potts was not in uniform nor did he use public/county resources when writing his editorials.

His “letters have never caused a disruption of the workplace, affected the performance of his job duties, or otherwise interfered with the operations of the Sheriff’s Office,” said the complaint, adding that during the course of his official duties, he “consistently received positive performance reviews.”

Prior to Haney’s 2010 election as Trinity County Sheriff, the complaint says, the county district attorney asked then-Sheriff Lorrac Craig to force Potts to discontinue writing his letters, a request that Craig refused to carry out.

After Haney assumed his office in January 2011, he and “Undersheriff Ken Langton called Mr. Potts in for a meeting to discuss his letters to the editor,” says the complaint. “Sheriff Haney stated that the District Attorney had threatened not to prosecute any cases that Mr. Potts investigated if he continued to write letters to the editor, and that Mr. Potts needed to stop writing letters to the editor.”

Some months later, in August of last year, the complaint says Potts was once more warned to stop writing his letters by sheriff’s deputy Sgt. Ray Hurlbert, who allegedly said Potts’ letters were a “problem” for the department.

“Mr. Potts asked for guidance on the scope of the prohibition of his written expression but was never provided with guidance on what topics would be deemed by the Sheriff’s Office to be acceptable or unacceptable,” said the complaint. “Unable to obtain any clarification from the Sheriff’s Office about the scope of any prohibition, Mr. Potts understood the Office either to be imposing a blanket ban on all letters to the editor, or to be requiring Mr. Potts to draw his own line between” what he felt was and was not appropriate.

Sought guidance but a reprimand instead

The complaint said Potts published four more letters to the editor in the local paper between October and November 2011 on topics ranging from “drug policy, including drug legalization, and the right to carry concealed weapons.”

“On December 5, 2011, Sgt. Hurlburt provided Mr. Potts with written notice of an administrative investigation into his expressive letter-writing activities,” said the complaint. “The notice letter cited six provisions of the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office Policy Manual and explained that Mr. Potts was being investigated for possible violations of these provisions. Mr. Potts was ordered to appear for an interrogation concerning the potential violations.”

Two weeks later, the department conducted “an investigatory interrogation” of Potts, in which he objected “on the grounds that his free speech rights were being violated.”

In February, the department issued Potts a formal reprimand for his conduct, saying that by writing his letters he was in violation of a number of departmental policies. Potts stopped writing letters following his reprimand.

In March, Potts; through his attorneys, asked Trinity County to expunge the reprimand from his work record, a request that was denied a month later.

There is an old saying in the military that goes, “We’re here to defend democracy, not practice it.” It sounds like that’s the case in Trinity County, Calif. as well.

Sources:

http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/07/09/FirstAmend.pdf

www.naturalnews.com/free_speech.html

www.naturalnewsradio.com/Archive-HealthRangerReport.asp