April 16, 2012
“If anyone needs more evidence of how the cops are out of control, here you go.” –KTRN
March 26, 2012
By Madison Ruppert
“We couldn’t make something this ridiculous up. Even if the dude was wearing underwear, who cares.” –KTRN
Nowadays, members of law enforcement can get away with just about everything, but apparently the line is drawn when you mow your lawn in your shorts that might look like underwear to some.
That’s right, individuals in law enforcement can get away with murdering the elderly with pepper spray, brutally beating senior citizens suffering from dementia, allegedly holding the elderly against their will and so much more, but not mowing their lawns in their choice of attire.
When police officers attempt to expose the criminal activities of fellow law enforcement, they are quickly targeted for harassment, and in one case a whistleblower was thrown in a psychiatric ward of a hospital for a whopping six days simply for doing his job.
As absurd as it sounds, it is true, and it is evidenced in the case of Bradley County Deputy Dallas Longwith in Bradley County, Tennessee.
The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office dismissed Longwith last year for “conduct unbecoming of an officer,” according to Major Jim Hodgson and the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
This dismissal came after the office received two complaints about Longwith mowing his yard in his underwear, although Longwith, a former court officer, maintains that he was not actually wearing underwear.
September 9, 2010
by Lynn Bonner
Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances.
The state sheriff’s association pushed the idea Tuesday, saying the move would help them make drug arrests and curb a growing problem of prescription drug abuse. But patient advocates say opening up people’s medicine cabinets to law enforcement would deal a devastating blow to privacy rights.
Allowing sheriffs’ offices and other law enforcement officials to use the state’s computerized list would vastly widen the circle of people with access to information on prescriptions written for millions of people. As it stands now, doctors and pharmacists are the main users.
Nearly 30 percent of state residents received at least one prescription for a controlled substance, anything from Ambien to OxyContin, in the first six months of this year, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly 2.5 million people filled prescriptions in that time for more than 375 million doses. The database has about 53.5 million prescriptions in it.
Sheriffs made their pitch Tuesday to a legislative health care committee looking for ways to confront prescription drug abuse. Local sheriffs said that more people in their counties die of accidental overdoses than from homicides.
For years, sheriffs have been trying to convince legislators that the state’s prescription records should be open to them.
“We can better go after those who are abusing the system,” said Lee County Sheriff Tracy L. Carter.
Others say opening up patients’ medicine cabinets to law enforcement is a terrible idea.
“I am very concerned about the potential privacy issues for people with pain,” said Candy Pitcher of Cary, who volunteers for the nonprofit American Pain Foundation. “I don’t feel that I should have to sign away my privacy rights just because I take an opioid under doctor’s care.” Pitcher is receiving treatment for a broken back.
The ACLU opposed a bill in 2007 that would have opened the list to law enforcement officials, said ACLU lobbyist Sarah Preston. The organization would likely object to the new proposal.
“What really did concern us is the privacy aspect,” she said. Opening the record to more users could deter someone from getting necessary medicine because of the fear that others would find out, she said, “particularly in small towns where everybody knows everybody.”
The state started collecting the information in 2007 to help doctors identify patients who go from doctor to doctor looking for prescription drugs they may not need, and to keep pharmacists from supplying patients with too many pills. But only about 20 percent of the state’s doctors have registered to use the information, and only 10 percent of the pharmacies are registered.
Many chain pharmacies aren’t connected to the Internet, said Andy Ellen, a lobbyist for the N.C. Retail Merchants Association. Pharmacy computers work on closed systems so they won’t be vulnerable to viruses that could slow or crash their networks. Pharmacies are trying to figure out a way around that obstacle to the controlled-substance prescriptions list, he said.
Bettie Blanchard, a woman from Dare County whose adult son is recovering from addiction to prescription drugs, said doctors should be required to consult the list when prescribing controlled substances.
She also wants doctors to get more education on prescribing narcotics. Doctors should be required to tell patients that the medicine they are being prescribed can be addictive, she said.
William Bronson, who works in a drug control unit at DHHS, presented what could be a compromise to the sheriffs’ request – allowing local drug investigators to request information related to ongoing investigations, but not let them go in to the computer records themselves.
Eddie Caldwell, lobbyist for the N.C. Sheriff’s Association, said the level of access to the data is up for discussion.
“There’s a middle ground where the sheriffs and their personnel working on these drug abuse cases get the information they need in a way that protects the privacy of that information,” he said. “No one wants every officer in the state to be able to log on and look it up.”
August 2nd, 2010
Sheriff Paul Babeu is hopping mad at the federal government.
Babeu told CNSNews.com that rather than help law enforcement in Arizona stop the hundreds of thousands of people who come into the United States illegally, the federal government is targeting the state and its law enforcement personnel.
“What’s very troubling is the fact that at a time when we in law enforcement and our state need help from the federal government, instead of sending help they put up billboard-size signs warning our citizens to stay out of the desert in my county because of dangerous drug and human smuggling and weapons and bandits and all these other things and then, behind that, they drag us into court with the ACLU,” Babeu said.
The sheriff was referring to the law suits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Department of Justice challenging the state’s new immigration law.
“So who has partnered with the ACLU?” Babeu said in a telephone interview with CNSNews.com. “It’s the president and (Attorney General) Eric Holder himself. And that’s simply outrageous.”
Last week, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton placed a temporary injunction on portions of the bill that allowed law enforcement personnel during the course of a criminal investigation who have probable cause to think an individual is in the country illegally to check immigration status. The state of Arizona filed an appeal on Thursday with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Our own government has become our enemy and is taking us to court at a time when we need help,” Babeu said.
Babeu and Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County Ariz., spoke by phone with CNSNews.com last week about the May 17 ACLU class-action lawsuit, which charges the law uses racial profiling and named the county attorneys and sheriffs in all 15 Arizona counties as defendants. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on July 6, charging the Arizona law preempted the federal government’s sole right to enforce immigration law.
“If the president would do his job and secure the border; send 3,000 armed soldiers to the Arizona border and stop the illegal immigration and the drug smuggling and the violence, we wouldn’t even be in this position and where we’re forced to take matters into our own hands,” Babeu said.
Dever said the federal government’s failure to secure the border and its current thwarting of Arizona’s effort to control illegal immigration within its borders has implications for the entire country.
“The bigger picture is while what’s going on in Arizona is critically important, what comes out of this and happens here will affect our entire nation in terms of our ability to protect our citizenry from a very serious homeland security threat,” Dever said. “People who are coming across the border in my county aren’t staying there. They’re going everywhere USA and a lot of them are bad, bad people.”
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), about 250,000 people were detained in Arizona in the last 12 months for being in the country illegally. Babeu said that that number only reflects the number of people detained and that thousands more enter the country illegally each year.
The CBP also reports that 17 percent of those detained already have a criminal record in the United States.
Both Babeu and Dever said they want to remain involved in the legal battle over the law, which many experts predict will end up being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dever has hired an independent attorney to represent him in the ACLU case and his attorney has already filed a motion of intervention in the DOJ lawsuit so the “(Dever) will have a seat at the table.”
A Web site also has been launched by the non-profit, Iowa-based Legacy Foundation to raise money for the Babeu’s and Dever’s legal defense.
Both men said they believe the outcome of the case has national significance.“For us, this is a public safety matter and a national security threat,” Babeu said.
November 13, 2009
By Shelley Hanson
It took the strength of two sheriff’s deputies to keep a middle schooler still enough to receive a shot of the swine flu, or H1N1, vaccine at a recent clinic.
During a regular Wheeling-Ohio County Health Board meeting Tuesday, health department Administrator Howard Gamble told board members about the student’s attempt to flee Wheeling Middle School during a vaccination clinic held there last Friday.
He noted the boy’s mother could not bear to watch the scene and left the gymnasium. Out of apparent fear of receiving the injection, the student ran out of the building. The school’s resource officer, Ohio County Sheriff’s Deputy John Haglock, coaxed the boy back inside. Once at the shot station, however, Haglock apparently needed some help keeping the boy still, and another deputy assisted.
“He tried to run. I looked over and saw two sheriff’s deputies holding a kid down,” Gamble said. “Mom took off, she couldn’t take it. You had one nurse with the needle, two deputies holding him, one nurse is grabbing hands – because that’s what they want to do, to go after the needle. And that’s the last thing you want.”
Gamble said as soon as the nurse gave the boy his injection and told him he was done, he hopped up like nothing had happened.
“For the most part they go very easy. As far as the shots, every once in awhile you have to hold down one or two – but that’s why mom is there or dad is there,” Gamble said.
He added after the meeting that Friday’s incident was the only time Ohio County deputies have held a student during a shot.
“They’re mostly there for parking and directions. They also know the kids. … They were our first line of contact when setting up the clinics,” Gamble said.
Neither Sheriff Pat Butler nor Haglock could be reached for comment. A sheriff’s department official said Haglock is on vacation for the next two weeks.
During a clinic Tuesday at Bridge Street Middle School, similar scenes took place – though not quite as dramatic and not involving officers of the law. A couple sets of parents could be seen keeping their children from wiggling away while a nurse quickly administered the vaccine.
Ten-year-old Austin Price, the son of Jennifer and Josh Price, decided to take the shot standing up and with no assistance from his mom or dad. He even smiled for a photograph.
And on a scale of 1-10, how painful was the shot?