By William R. Toler
A campaign ad for Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown contains a line that is disturbing to those who are conscious of the growing police state.
The controversial section reads:
“Those in the law enforcement profession have complete power over you, your life, your family, your loved ones, your rights, your freedom, your future and everything precious to life.”
The ad was apparently written by Brown and a disclaimer at the bottom states that he paid for it himself.
According to the Jacksonville Daily News, Brown released a statement saying this was taken out of context. To Brown it simply means that “covers and protects every part of a person’s life,” the paper reported. “Brown says he has ‘searched every imaginable thought’ to find an aspect of life to which law does not apply and said he could not.”
If that’s the case, then he should have worded that way other than saying that LEOs have “complete power over you…your rights…” However, Brown’s explanation doesn’t really cause any ease.
The fact that legislation, written by men claiming to represent the rest of the people in a given geographic area, is so invasive that it covers every aspect of life is a worrying thought in and of itself.
The JDN also reported that both of Brown’s opponents in the sheriff’s race were dismayed by the language in the ad.
“Should Onlsow County fear this man,” asked Scott Himes. “Absolutely.” The former deputy, planning to run as a Democrat, added, “He says (he) meant something different, but that’s not what the citizens took it as.” Himes said that if he’s elected he plans to uphold the laws, “but I’m not going to follow you around and tell you what to do.”
Hans Miller, who faces Brown in the Republican primary next month, told the JDN that he is “disappointed” and “disagrees with the philosophy displayed in Brown’s ad on the power of law enforcement.“ Miller added, “It bothers me that any law enforcement officer assumes that he has that kind of power over law-abiding citizens.”
Brown’s authoritarian statement is not limited to himself, but his department and the LEO community as a whole, as made clear by the thousands of videos and stories of officers initiating aggression against peaceful people.
One of his own deputies, Natalie Barber, was recently caught on camera snatching a man’s phone, handcuffing and detaining him for failing to provide his driver license for a neighbor dispute report. The deputy became irate when he offered his veteran identification card instead.
The deputy told Carlos Jaramillo to stop recording her. He replied he was recording for his safety. She countered by again ordering him to stop…for her safety. How recording the interaction endangered her safety is still a point of wonder.
The story, first reported by Carlos Miller at Photography is not a crime, garnered local and nationwide attention in a matter of days. In one local report, an attorney said that Jaramillo legally did not even have to provide that, since he wasn’t suspected of a crime or driving. Jaramillo said as much to the deputy during his unlawful detainment.
Brown responded to the incident with a statement saying that his deputy would be given six more weeks of training. However, in the press release, Brown said that his deputy “never once pushed, snatched, assaulted, or showed any other forceful acts of aggression toward the Complainant.” The sheriff must not have seen the same video everyone else did, because the video evidence contradicts his statement.
But that isn’t the only roadblock in the way to Brown’s re-election.
This past week, he was blasted by District Attorney Ernie Lee for accusations made against Hans Miller. Brown was recorded purporting to have testimony that Miller was connected to a series of bomb threats throughout the county.
During a telephone conversation between the two, Brown said he had been told that Miller was connected with the threats allegedly made by 18-year-old Gerald Jackson. “This young man has told me you’re the reason for these bomb threats and the general public is going to believe that,” Brown said. “I’ve been told that you incited it, caused the bomb threats and I don’t know what to do but hand it over to the district attorney for an investigation.”
The district attorney said the only “evidence” that linked Miller with Jackson was that the suspect had visited Miller’s campaign Facebook page, according to NewsChannel 12. “I do not condone the actions or words of Sheriff Brown during his phone call to Hans Miller on April 11, 2014,” Lee said during a press conference. “I find those actions and words to be unprofessional and to reflect unfavorably upon Sheriff Brown.”
With all the recent shenanigans, the long-time sheriff could have to retire his badge. He faces Miller in the Republican primary May 6.
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