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GOOD COP, BAD COP, NO COP
By Betty Freauf
July 23, 2003
I recently heard Mike Winters the Jackson County, Oregon sheriff on Portland's KXL Lars Larson radio interview explain why he is not going to forfeit any property of alleged drug criminals until they have been found guilty by a jury. He indicated he would seize property but it would be held in some type of abeyance until the jury's verdict. He believes all people are innocent until proven guilty. With tongue in cheek, I ask, "Now isn't that a novel idea?"
Callers to the show overwhelmingly supported the sheriff's decision which strongly aligns with the constitutional oath he took. A 2000 measure barring the government from confiscating private property without a criminal conviction was passed by Oregonians on a 952,792 to 465,081 vote. The measure restricted proceeds usage, required reporting and penalties; however, the State Court of Appeals cited it violated the single-amendment provision and once again threw out the vote of the people.
This ruling and others is now guiding the attorney general's office regarding whether an initiative may move forward. Once again, the fox is in charge of the chicken house.
In the absence of any strong constitutional leadership in Oregon, we, the people, have been trying to run the state by initiative. This is a far cry from what our Founders envisioned. It's a terrible way to be governed but it is a tool of last resort and now our initiative process has been coming under attack as well.
What may be next is replacing our county sheriff's with deputized federal marshals. Why is this happening? The sheriff is our last defense against tyrants. In the counties he is the supreme authority. If he abuses his power, the people can vote him out. If he's a good sheriff, they will keep re-electing him. That is the way our Founders envisioned it and that is why the sheriff is ELECTED, not an appointed mouth piece of the governor or county commissioners.
But we can have a good cop or a bad cop. The Clatsop County, Oregon's sheriff in November 2001 announced his plans to organize civil defense forces. When the federal government, accompanied by national T.V. crews, sent marshals to Klamath Falls to help dispel the tensions between farmers and environmentalists over water rights, the county sheriff as the only elected law enforcement position in the county and holding a position of high authority, stepped up to the plate to protect the people in Klamath County.
Sheriffs are a part of the checks and balance system and have a broad spectrum of power but many do not use it. County Commissioners, the sheriff and county judges are local chieftains in the proper functioning of county government but if we get bad dudes in those positions with personal agendas, these offices present the greatest challenge to the misuse of authority.
Unfortunately, far too many elected timid sheriffs do not recognize their constitutional authority so they succumb to the demands of the social workers, for example, and become willing accomplices taking children away from innocent families without due process.
Children in Waco, Texas, at the Branch Davidian and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, might be alive today if the federal agents would have been required to first get permission from the local sheriff or if that sheriff would have demanded the feds stay out of his county and let him handle the situation things could have ended amicably as they did in Klamath County.
Once again we see Congress usurping the province of the county sheriffs and local police by giving too much power to the unelected FBI and BATF officials. I think the sheriff in Waco was trying but the BATF simply overwhelmed him. The result was the death of 17 little innocent children and their parents over something that could have been averted if it had been handled properly by the local sheriff, who had a good relationship with Koresh.
And now I have heard from Bernadine Smith of the Second Amendment Committee in Hanford, California, that word has come out of Ohio that the sheriffs in that state are expecting to be eliminated possibly by December of this year or July of 2004. She writes the head of the America First Party (a new party starting up in Ohio) has talked to one of the good sheriffs in that state and the sheriff corroborated by saying that "It's coming -- it's true." A second confirmation has come down from yet another source that this is true. Indications are they will replace all sheriffs with federal marshals. In some counties the marshals have already been moved in as a "partner". Smith says all the power will eventually be given over to the marshals and the sheriff will be gradually eliminated -- our last checks and balances!
This merger of the marshall and the sheriff will federalize the county for the benefit of strengthening a military government now under way as the Homeland Security, writes Smith. When these changes are completed, the people will have lost all control over their own local law enforcement (they used to be called peace officers), which is NOT a federal function but a county and state function.
Smith says the Homeland Security advances the goal in State Department Publication #7277 which requires a "force" to preserve internal order and that "force" will be military force again completely ignoring the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act which prevents armed forces from conducting arrests on civilians.
Frightening and surprise military exercises have been occurring against our towns and cities for quite some time in an effort to desensitize the citizens to such actions. Only the Second Amendment prevents these usurpers from complete success and even now this sacrosanct, inalienable right is under attack by the same detractors because Americans are willing to give up liberties for protection.
It is time to alert your sheriff and your police departments of the damage these mergers will cause.
"We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount... The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." -- General Omar Bradley
© 2003 Betty Freauf - All Rights Reserved
Betty is a former Oregon Republican Party activist having served as state party secretary, county chairman, 5th congressional vice chairman and then elected chairman, a precinct worker for many years and twice ran unsuccessfully for the Oregon State Legislature. The Republican tradition is to stay neutral in Primary races but in Betty's case. They supported her opponent. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"In the absence of any strong constitutional leadership in Oregon, we, the people, have been trying to run the state by initiative. This is a far cry from what our Founders envisioned. It's a terrible way to be governed but it is a tool of last resort and now our initiative process has been coming under attack as well."