Hate Crimes Ignored by Top Brass in Police Department
Open letter to the city council
Ladies and gentlemen of the city council. I write today, not to alarm the city council but to sound the alarm to the entire community.
We have elements in our community that seek to thwart our elective process by stealing signs and making threats against candidates for public office. Namely me. How did I incur their wrath? By reporting the news, faithfully and correctly about their criminal behaviors.
Let me take you back for a moment to two years ago when the vigilantes ruled the nights and many of our residents lived in fear of the next attack. You may remember stories of homeless people walking on the sidewalk and having hands full of roofing tacks thrown in their faces from moving cars. You may remember reports of armed men, donning camouflage and going to the camping areas of homeless people and trashing their campsite and throwing their food in the mud. You may remember stories of cars running up on the sidewalk to scatter a group of homeless who were walking along the sidewalk. You may remember there was a total of three hit-and-run fatalities that summer, all killing homeless people, none of which has there been an arrest or conviction.
You may remember an incident where there was a travel trailer on the side of the road where a homeless woman had been evicted from her lot and her trailer was on the side of 112 awaiting a truck to tow it to another location. On the local poverty porn website all the chatter was about getting rid of the trailer. Then someone suggested tossing a flare into the trailer. Twelve hours later it was burned down to the axles, a flare was tossed into it. You may recall the occasion where the sheriff’s department referred for prosecution one of these miscreants who, according to the sheriff’s investigation, sprayed a toxic substance, bear repellent, into a moving car containing a young family. Their crime, they were volunteers at TAFY and helping the homeless. You may recall the same fellow was arrested and charged with possession of 10 stolen cell phones, a sack full of data chips taken from stolen cell phones, taking a video of a sex act from one of these data cards and posting it on his poverty-porn site and making salacious remarks about their physical appearance. All of these stories were covered in the news both the daily paper and Port O Call.
None of these cases have been prosecuted.
Now why would I dredge all this up again? Because now I am the target of this mischief. However, the entire community is the victim when this is done to influence an election. My trash has been stolen numerous times in the past few months. I received a letter-bomb. Fortunately it exploded only glitter all over the room. Attached was a note saying, “see, we can get to you anytime.”
I am getting harassing and threatening comments on my website, one saying they are going to “destroy” me. One said they were going to “snuff” my campaign just like they “snuffed” my newspaper. True to form my campaign signs are stolen almost immediately after putting them up. Disgusting signs are pasted on my post office box in the main lobby of the post office. Disgusting false stories are circulated on their poverty porn pages. They claim they are working on a “full report” that is going to expose me for all my horrible acts. After all this time their only recourse seems to be stealing my campaign signs and circulating horrible lies on their social media.
All of this has been reported to the papd with one request, to determine the owner of the IP address from which these threats emanate. Chief Smith says we do not have probable cause to seek a warrant to discover the owner of the offending IP address.
I ask you to think back for a moment to your campaign for public office. If you received this same treatment wouldn’t you like to think your police department would get to the bottom of it quick.
There is a history here too. Back when the armed vigilantes went into the campsite of a homeless brother and sister and trashed their camp they rightly came down to the police station and filed a report. Before they were out of the parking lot the case was marked “closed.”
When I heard about it I inquired of then assistant chief Smith, describing the episode as best I could. He said there was no such incident. I went back to the victims and asked if they had a case number. They did. I went back to Brian with the case number and he said, “Oh that case, yes we have it under investigation.” When I asked for a copy of the report it was marked “closed.” Amazingly, after the light of publicity, it was finally investigated and referred for prosecution and of course Mark Nichols declined to prosecute.
Fast forward to today, I have repeatedly asked Brian to secure a warrant to discover the owner of the IP address from which my threats are coming and he says there is no probable cause. Do you see a pattern here?
Now, I ask you, is this the type of community we want to live in? A community ruled by fear and intimidation. Is this how we want our elections decided–by vigilantes who skulk in the night– removing campaign signs and making threats of violence against candidates. If so this is exactly what you’ve got and you can thank your local police department leadership. Bear in mind, I have only the utmost respect for the rank and file members of our department. It is the leadership that causes me concern. If they think they can sit on their hands while our candidates for office are threatened and their signs stolen then that will shape the character of our community forever. They need to recognize the very real and lasting danger of allowing these crimes to go un-investigated and unpunished.
Maybe the previous council approved of these non-actions. I do not believe this new council will accept this lackadaisical attitude on the part of the leadership in its police department. I trust someone will prevail upon our chief of police and order him to investigate, with the full authority placed in him, and root out this evil cancer on our community. Or, we can give back the night to the vigilantes.