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Look out! he’s got a copy of the Constitution in his hand

I’m no longer speechless. Seems the police force that engaged in this:

Get down on the floor! Get down on the floor or I will shoot you! Now take two aspirin and call me in the morning!

had a good reason:

The sheriff said the decision to use SWAT team force was justified because the father was a “self-proclaimed constitutionalist” and had made threats and “comments” over the years.

And then there’s this:

However, the sheriff declined to provide a single instance of the father’s illegal behavior. “I can’t tell you specifically,” he said.

Yeah. Radley nails it: By the sheriff’s own admission, then, the show of force was more about Shiflet’s political beliefs and desire to be left alone than any real child neglect.

Update: people are asking for a non-WND source (what bias?), here’s a news account.

32 Responses to “Look out! he’s got a copy of the Constitution in his hand”

  1. #9 Says:

    Surreal. They need a police department just to watch the police department. So in Colorado the Constitution is a bad thing?

  2. Retro Says:

    Hopefully he’ll sue these JBT bastards into the next centruy. Every last one of them – including the judge that authorized this absurd illegal home invasion. Bastards.

  3. Madrocketscientist Says:

    Hey, it’s not that I don’t trust WND (OK, I don’t, but I don’t trust the AP either), but I like more than one independent news source. I heard about this yesterday and I could not find confirmation of the events.

  4. Billy Beck Says:

    Don’t worry about it, “rocketscientist”, because it can’t happen in America.

    Nothing to see here. Move along, now.

  5. Captain Holly Says:

    For those homeschoolers who are concerned about stuff like this happening to them, go here:

    http://www.hslda.org

    The Home School Legal Defense Association has fought and will fight things like this, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

    Unfortunately, you usually have to be a member first.

  6. Rich in Ohio Says:

    Billy Beck,

    It absolutely can happen here, but I wouldn’t take the WND’s word for it that it has.

  7. Les Jones Says:

    Shiflett shouted at this worker and advised this worker that if he obtained a court order, he better ‘bring an army,'” the warrant states.

    Suddenly the reason for the SWAT team becomes more apparent.

    No doubt SWAT teams are over-used, and it’s possible that this could have been resolved in other ways, but that was one hellaciously stupid thing to say.

  8. Firehand Says:

    Assuming he did actually say it; the article in the Post Independant has this from a witness:
    But Talbott said he was there when paramedics responded, and that Shiflett was not yelling or acting abusive. He only asked them to leave, Talbott said, and paramedics were in fact acting belligerent.

    And I’ve got to say, if they forced their way in or otherwise entered without permission, what do they expect? They should be told to get the hell out.

  9. Cactus Jack Says:

    “They didn’t need to bash into my home and slam my kids to the floor,” Tina said, adding later, “I think they get a kick out of this.”

    I think the cops get a kick out of doing it too.

    Retro Says:

    January 8th, 2008 at 12:05 pm
    Hopefully he’ll sue these JBT bastards into the next centruy. Every last one of them – including the judge that authorized this absurd illegal home invasion. Bastards.

    I’m in agreement with this as well.

  10. Les Jones Says:

    “Assuming he did actually say it”

    Naturally. Of course, everyone else here is assuming everything the homeowner says is the gospel.

    Look, maybe this is as bad as Balko makes it sound. Maybe it isn’t. Righteous moral indignation is a precious thing. I try to conserve my limited supply until I’m pretty sure it’s justified by the facts.

  11. Ron W Says:

    “The sheriff said the decision to use SWAT team force was justified because the father was a ‘self-proclaimed constitutionalist’ and had made threats and “comments” over the years.”

    “You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.” –Charles Beard, American Historian (1874-1948)

    And especially these days.

  12. Yosemite Sam Says:

    I find it extremely difficult to give SWAT and the police the benefit of the doubt. They have a lot of blood on their hands.

  13. SayUncle Says:

    Suddenly the reason for the SWAT team becomes more apparent.

    Sure. But the reason for forcing medical care on someone (who later turned out not to need it) doesn’t.

  14. straightarrow Says:

    I find extremely difficult to abide the apologists for actions such as this. witness the frantic scramble in some of the comments above to be on the side of the “power”.

  15. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    No, but that’s a different problem. That problem is with the court system, not the police.

    When you say, in effect, “I don’t care if you have the proper legal documents you had better come with overwhelming force” don’t be surprised when they take you at your word.

  16. Les Jones Says:

    straightarrow: I don’t see any apologists prior to your comment for the SWAT team, and that includes me. I just want to see all of the facts first.

    Everyone keeps quoting this part:

    “The sheriff said the decision to use SWAT team force was justified because the father was a ’self-proclaimed constitutionalist’ and had made threats and “comments” over the years.”

    Did anyone actually read the part in there about prior threats? Maybe the sheriff is talking out of his butt, but maybe he isn’t.

    As far as the medical care, the responder reported that the kid had a “‘huge hematoma’ and a sluggish pupil.” Head injuries can be deadly serious. This one turned out to be OK, but they didn’t know that at the time. They also offered to pay for the hospital visit, so money wasn’t an issue.

    Look, I ain’t stupid. I know I’m supposed to jump on the bandwagon of righteous indignation against the state. And hell, I just might do it once I’m sure the state was in the wrong here. I think they overdid the level of force, at the least, but I think I’ll wait and make sure of the facts first. That’s all.

  17. Lyle Says:

    No one can tell me they were surprised by this. Not after we allowed government into the medical industry, and created CPS.

    You want more of this and far worse? Just wait ’till we get Universal Health Care.

    Suckers.

  18. straightarrow Says:

    Les obviously you refused to read or to retain those parts of the story that should make you uncomfortable. Like the fact that the father was a better trained medic than the EMTs, or the fact that he has raised 10 children and took care of them all well, or the fact that a witness stated the only rude or threatening statements were made by the EMTs, or that the sheriff declined to provide even one example of any threat or illegal act by the father, or the fact that the sheriff cited a belief in the constitution as justification for armed assault by wannabe ninjas against a peaceful household.

    How did you manage not to see any of that in the accounts and still claim not be an apologist? I know the high speed printing presses are fast, but you don’t have to read them at that speed. You can read for content, instead of looking for your comfort zone and ignoring what doesn’t fit in it.

  19. straightarrow Says:

    If someone came in your house uninvited then finagled a way to have your children assaulted because you told them to leave, I promise I will side with the assailants in order to honor your view. But if some of yours are killed, as is often the case in these situations, don’t you dare complaiin.

  20. Les Jones Says:

    “Like the fact that the father was a better trained medic than the EMTs”

    Where is that a fact?

    “the fact that he has raised 10 children and took care of them all well,”

    And so?

    “a witness stated the only rude or threatening statements were made by the EMTs”

    And so any witness for the homeowner is an angel sent from God and any witness from say the ambulance service is an agent of SATAN?!?!

    “or the fact that the sheriff cited a belief in the constitution as justification for armed assault by wannabe ninjas against a peaceful household”

    That actually was sort of weird or mention, but it may have been out of context. And of course we don’t find out until the second story that one of the first responders (not the sheriff – one of the first responders) stated that Shiflett said if he came back with a court order he’d better bring an army.

    I’m no pie-eyed believer in the sheriff. But lots of folks here are swallowing Shiflett’s story hook, line, and sinker without a whole lot of skepticism. I’m not saying it’s not true, but I’m saying some people are mighty predisposed to believing it. Have you personally met Shiflett? Are you going to vouch for him?

    One criticism of the MSM is that they pick and choose their facts to support a narrative. Don’t think that it’s just the MSM. People in general – liberal people, conservative people, libertarian people, you name it – pick and choose facts to construct a narrative that fits in with their beliefs.

    If the facts support Shiflett, so be it. If the sheriff’s in the wrong then hang him out to dry. But don’t ignore the parts of this story that don’t support the innocent nice guy vs. blue meanies narrative.

  21. workinwifdakids Says:

    This type of thing could’ve been handled by a single peace officer with a nice, slow drawl. The idea that every single disagreement between a police officer and a private citizen has to end up with the officer’s boot on the guys neck watching the smoking end of a tazer hang from the guy’s scrotum is just over the top.

    Put away the goddamn HK PSG-1, ask the guy with the M203 to switch to decaf, and then just talk to the father. The guy was feeling pretty violated after the paramedics just wandered in through an unlocked door uninvited, so the cops just fed his political beliefs by reenacting the invasion of Panama. Every time we interact with law enforcement we can expect Ruby Ridge, or can we all just smoke a cigarette and figure out if we can get a win-win out of this?

    And before you call me a hippy, relax – there are times when a cop is pretty much entitled to beat a guy into submission. This, however? Not one of those times.

  22. Phelps Says:

    Okay, Les, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Shiflet is a wild man. Let’s assume that he told the paras that he was going to shoot the next sumbitch that set foot on his land.

    Does that justify the actions by the police of forcibly invading his home and taking his child by force?

  23. Les Jones Says:

    Like I said, I think the force was probably excessive. At least now people seem to be considering the possibility that the SWAT team didn’t just show up for no reason.

    And from an article this morning: “Shiflett admitted Tuesday that he chased his daughter’s former boyfriend down the street with an axe in 2005.”

    In the article the sheriff denies throwing anyone to the ground. He also says they announced the warrant before entering and asked for the door to be opened before forcing it open.

  24. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Phelps,

    Would you walk up and knock on the door nicely and just let him shoot you?

    Doesn’t sound like a very smart move to me. But maybe I’m just missing that deathwish gene.

    My problem is not with the police. My problem is with a court that believes it has (or ought to have) the authority to order the seizure of a child.

    Once that order has been given, the police are bound to follow it. Given the violent remarks the father made, I can’t say I blame them for trying to protect themselves. The police were handed a sh1t sandwich as much as the father was.

  25. Firehand Says:

    Unless the magistrate somehow ordered the sheriff to send a tactical team, the means of serving the order was up to the sheriff’s judgement. The idiot who signed the order is to blame, and so is the sheriff who decided to send in the tac team as opposed to knocking on the door like, oh, a law enforcement officer.

    As far as the former boyfriend, ever have a daughter?

  26. straightarrow Says:

    Les he was a medic in Viet Nam. I assure you he was better trained than a civilian EMT, with a much wider exposure to traumatic injury.

    As for your other apologist ravings, when have you ever seen the MSM go after law enforcement. I don’t know where you live, but I have lived damned near everywhere in this country and I have never seen MSM be anything but supportive of law enforcement, unless they had no choice, like privately taped video made publicly available, etc.

  27. Les Jones Says:

    “so is the sheriff who decided to send in the tac team as opposed to knocking on the door like, oh, a law enforcement officer”

    According to the sheriff they did knock and did announce they had a warrant. It was only after they were denied entry that they battered the door open.

    Shiflett says if he had known they had a warrant he would have let them in. Does that mean they knocked and he didn’t let them in? Not sure.

    As far as which of us is raving, I’ll let others draw their own conclusions.

  28. straightarrow Says:

    You’re raving and apologizing. Trust me on this, believing you are being observed and that it will weigh in your favor, just like believing the hot chick singing at a concert is looking directly at you and wanting you is a sign of mental illness.

  29. bob r Says:

    Once that order has been given, the police are bound to follow it.

    Bulls***t. Ever hear the phrase “checks and balances”. The sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in the county; just what is the magistrate going to do if the sheriff says “no effing way”?

  30. straightarrow Says:

    Or, bob r, if he sends a deputy down to question witnesses and then make a determination of how to approach.

  31. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Yes, I have heard of checks and balances. You ever heard of contempt of court?

    Again, you may be willing to knock politely on the door of someone that says “I don’t care if you have a warrant, I’m shooting you anyway”, but I don’t share that deathwish, and I doubt the officers involved did either.

  32. straightarrow Says:

    Yu-Ain, maybe you should read the updates. I just love how you guys have to speculate what may have been done or said but give no weight at all to the witnesses or reported accounts of what happened.

    If you are that afraid go away from men and hide in comfort, but do not suborn others to this form of cowardice.