NOTE FROM STEWART:
Full disclosure – I will be representing both Jennifer Jones and for Ed Foster, the Mayor of Quartzsite, Arizona, regarding all of the many well documented abuses of their civil rights, and in particular, their First Amendment protected rights of free speech, assembly, as well as their rights to take part in the political process, by the Quartzsite Chief of Police and Town Council. This is in my individual capacity as a lawyer, not as the President of Oath Keepers. I want to make that clear. But I do see this as part of my responsibility to keep my oath, and in particular the oath I swore as a lawyer, to defend the Constitution. Sometimes the law can indeed be used as a sword of justice, so please wish me luck in helping them hold the town council and the Chief of Police accountable!
For the Republic,
Oath Keepers – You may have heard about the situation in Quartzsite, Arizona. The town council and the Police Chief there are now in full spin mode in reaction to national media attention being focused on their well documented pattern of silencing political opponents by means of intimidation and false arrest, including at public meetings. Now they are claiming that there is an “emergency” which requires them to cancel normally scheduled and open public meetings, by claiming that they are in danger – claiming they have received threats.
An easy way to cut through all the spin is to read the written report submitted by ten of the police officers in the Quartzsite Police Department, expressing their vote of no confidence in the Chief of Police, and requesting an independent investigation of misconduct by the Chief. Their letter lays out many violations of the law and of the rights of the people. This is from the men and women who work in that department, who feel compelled to step up and speak out, at risk of their jobs. These officers are a stellar example of what all police should be doing when unconstitutional behavior happens in their departments, and they are keeping their oaths. Our hats are off to them! The whole document is worth reading, but the following quotes are particularly valuable in understanding what is going on there:
From page 4 of the document:
We feel It Is our duty to inform the citizens of this community and the rest of the public, that we do not stand behind Chief Gilbert, or condone any of his criminal actions, nor will we jeopardize our own careers by following orders we know are unconstitutional, or by not reporting his criminal behavior. As it is apparent to us that a vote of No Confidence In Chief Gilbert is not enough to ask for his resignation with cause, we feel that notifying your constituents of the kind of man and Officer that is being allowed to run the Quartzsite Police Department is the only avenue left to convince you to start an honest investigation into a serious matter. [emphasis added]
Quote taken from page 7 of the document
Over the last two years the problems have continually got worse. Chief Jeff Gilbert is fixated on the politics in this town. He is personally involved in them and all his time and attention is directed towards political gain to benefit of himself. He is obviously biased towards certain council members and is against and outspoken to other candidates and council members. He runs license plates just to find out names of people whose vehicles are parked at businesses/residences of people he doesn’t like. Not for an investigation, but to gain personal Information about people for his political benefit. He runs criminal history reports through NClC to try to find “dirt” on candidates or citizens supporting the candidates he does not like. Our policy clearly states that we are not to get involved in politics and must remain unbiased at all times. He orders officers to pull over and arrest/cite violations of citizens he feels are against him or he doesn’t like. Not because they have committed a violation that he wants enforced equally, but because it is someone he doesn’t like. Clearly this is a misuse of his power. He will target officers and go after them if he feels they are going against him. Candidates, supporters of him or friends can be in the same violation, even have outstanding valid warrants and officers are told to leave them alone. He caused the firing of the town prosecuting attorney because Chief Jeff Gilbert felt the Town Attorney would not follow through on or file ridicules charges against people involved In a certain political group, he practices selective enforcement in the community against people who do not like him, agree with him, or may go against him. He also directs the officers to do the same. This selective enforcement by Chief Jeff Gilbert can influence decision and can initiate negative actions with highly negative results; this practice can also leave the Qualtzsite Police Department employees and the City of Quartzsite open to accusations and lawsuits and liability. This also gives Law Enforcement, as a whole, a bad Image.
Additionally, Chief Jeff Gilbert has made it clear that he does not have the time to be involved in the daily operations of this department. His attention is diverted to his involvement in politics. He is not involved with the department and is hardly ever present. He takes no interest to those he commands. It is perceived that Chief Jeff Gilbert is oblivious to the decisions, actions and day to day operations of the department, unless it involves politics or someone involved in politics. [emphasis added]
In closing, we would like to remind you that we are not troublemakers, malcontents or disgruntled employees. We are employees of the Quartzsite Police Department, who have given our hearts and souls to serve the citizens of Quartzsite. Our dedication to the citizens of Quartzsite and the other employees of the Quartzsite Police Department gives us the courage to write this very difficult letter. Our agenda is strictly based in the well-being of the Quartzsite Police Department, and Town of Quartzsite so we may provide the greatest level of service to the much deserving members of this community.
If you cannot see the below PDF Document: please click the following link to view and download the full PDF.
We salute these officers for their courageous stand. They serve as an excellent example of what needs to happen all across this nation, and they serve as an example of the truth that there are good police officers out there. We Oath Keepers already know that, since we have many great officers within this organization, but the stand by these ten fine Arizona peace officers now serves as a clear example for the whole nation to see.
For those who are not up to speed on this situation in Quartzsite, here is the video that sparked national attention. In this video, a local activist and alternative media journalist, Jennifer Jones, is arrested at a town council meeting during a Call to the Public (open public comment time) for no apparent reason other than the city council members not liking the content of her speech. The council members order the Police Chief to arrest Mrs. Jones over the objections of the Mayor, Ed Foster, who stated “the lady has the floor. She’s exercising her First Amendment rights …. You are in violation of my rules of order.” She was arrested anyway:
Jennifer Jones has, in fact, been arrested three times by the Chief of Police, in similar incidents. And the Mayor of the town, Ed Foster, has also been arrested twice by the Chief of Police, simply for speaking his mind and expressing his official opposition to the Chief’s actions. Quartzsite, Arizona is now ground zero in the fight for free speech, the right to peaceably assemble and petition government for a redress of grievances, and the fight against abuse of power and corruption in local government. Stay tuned! – Oath Keepers
ADDITIONAL NOTE FROM STEWART:
Both Jennifer Jones and Mayor Foster (a Marine veteran) should be commended for their courage, as should the officers who are standing up against their own Chief of Police. What is most disturbing is that this is simply a particularly visible example of the kind of corruption that is absolutely pervasive across the country. I have seen it over, and over, all across America, whether it be GOP central committees (and the Dems are the same, but I don’t go to those), city councils, county commissioners, police chiefs, sheriffs, judges, legislators, you name it, it is the same, with few exceptions – the rule of men, rather than the rule of law (the Constitution), and a sense of entitlement to rule that will use any and all dirty tricks against anyone who stands up to them. What I have seen down at the local level is every bit as corrupt and totalitarian minded as anything that comes out of the US Congress or the White House. Just petty little tin-hat versions.
It’s enough to make a person just throw up their hands and give up. But, the answer is that we need to take our city halls, our county buildings, our local courts, our police departments, and our Sheriff Department BACK and kick out the corrupt career political hacks. The same goes for your local political party. Take it back. That is where the real battle ground is, right there in your home town and country, rather than Congress.
There are a few notable exceptions to this pattern, such as Sheriff Mark Gower, and Sheriff Palmer of Grant County Oregon (as Sheriff Mack noted in his article on our main site) and we should not forget that. But we also need to see clearly how bad it really is. Nearly every single community suffers from willful, corrupt politicians who care not a whit for the rights of the people or for the Constitution, caring only for their own naked power. They are oath breakers who should be seen as a cancer on the body politic, and rooted out before they kill the host.
The exceptions show us what is possible. The rule shows us what must be corrected. The politicos have been left alone to run things so long they begin to have the delusion that they are above us, as a superior class of rulers. It’s time to wake them up with a bucket of cold reality and kick the bums out.
The people of Quartzsite are showing what needs to be done everywhere in the United States. Remember how the polticians freaked when us commoners called them on the carpet at town hall meetings across the country in 2009? Well, that hasn’t stopped. People are finally waking up to their responsibility to go to those meetings and actually participate, to keep an eye not just on their Congresscritters, but also on their local politicians. And the politicos don’t like it, hence reactions like we see in Quartzsite.
We need to kick out the career and patronage good ol boy networks that act like petty organized crime families and replace them with average folks who have not intent to stay in there for life. Run, serve a term or two, and get out! Let some other patriotic civic minded citizen take their turn, serve a term or two, and get out. Rinse and repeat.
We are heading for some seriously hard times, and the character, constitutional knowledge, and courage of those in local office will be pivotal in whether we slide into tyranny or see a renaissance of liberty rise up from the ashes of the coming hard times. We will see hard and dangerous times. It is coming. But how we handle it, and whether we come out the other end free, will depend on what we do right now, and that includes most especially who we put into positions of leadership at the town and county level.
Look what one good, principled, knowledgeable, brave Sheriff can do, such as Sheriff Palmer of Grant County Oregon, and imagine what we could do if we had more men like that, or MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU, OR YOU YOURSELF, in office.
If we all sweep our own political “porch” clean, the whole nation will be swept clean, from the bottom up.
For the Republic,
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