Back in November, 2013, Fox News ran an article in which the Ft. Worth, Texas, Chief of Police declared the following:
“We realize this survey caused many of our citizens frustration and we apologize for our participation,” Halstead said in a statement. “I agree with our citizens’ concerns and I apologize for our participation. “Any future federal survey of this nature, which jeopardizes the public’s trust, will not be approved for the use of Fort Worth police.”
What, pray, was the Chief of Police apologizing about? The article gives a capsule accounting:
Fort Worth police set up checkpoints on city streets, and ordered random motorists off the road as part of a nationwide federal survey of alcohol- and drug-impaired driving last week, according to The Star-Telegram. The drivers were asked to pull into a parking lot, where they could give a cheek swab and volunteer for a blood or breath test. Those who agreed were paid $10 to $50. Those who declined were briefly interviewed and allowed to leave.
Some drivers complained of feeling strong-armed into participating, and on Wednesday, Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead apologized.
The survey was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The survey is done every 10 years or so and was reportedly intended to determine the prevalence of alcohol and drug use by drivers. Checkpoints to collect samples have been set up in 30 cities nationwide, and samples remain anonymous, according to federal officials.
That was back in November. Now, here just days before Christmas 2013, I got an email from Larry Liguori, president of Pennsylvania Oath Keepers. He linked me to a more recent article on Fox News, from which I was linked to this article by Don Spatz for the Reading Eagle (Reading, Pennsylvania – Remember the Reading Rail Road?) on December 17, 2013.
Motorist checkpoint in Reading draws questions
By Don Spatz
A private firm with a federal contract – and backed up by city police – forced motorists off Laurel Street and into a private parking lot Friday to question them about their driving habits and ask for a swab of their mouth.
“I feel this incident is a gross abuse of power on many levels,” Reading resident Ricardo Nieves, one of those stopped, told City Council Monday.
He said federal and local tax dollars were being used to stop innocent people without probable cause, and allow a private company to hire uniformed police to force citizens to listen to their questions.
He said he wasn’t told what the swab was for, but added, “Clearly it was for DNA.”
The checkpoint was among several being carried out in Pennsylvania by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, hired by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy… (read entire article at link above).
The following day Fox News picked up the story –
In their story, “Reading Police Chief William Heim told the Reading Eagle the federal agencies are trying to see what can be done about crashes and injuries, and the swabs were not to get DNA samples but to test for the presence of prescription drugs. He said police were there for site security only and did not pull drivers over or ask questions. “In the grand scheme of things, I think it’s a pretty innocuous and minor issue,” Heim said.”
The “grand scheme of things”, as the Police Chief notes, must be a bigger picture than the U.S. Constitution protects for we mere citizens. Blatantly violating the Fourth Amendment on trumped up excuses of protecting the public against itself and its habits of taking medications or having a nip of spirits on the way home after work is more than a “minor issue”.
So what to do? Larry Liguori’s email to me (of December 21, 2013) which conveyed this story also revealed his own attitude about this sort of mischief. (quoting Larry Liguori of Pennsylvania Oath Keepers)
I know you have an active Sheriff’s brigade in Berks county where this latest affront to our BOR’s … occurred earlier in the week. Would you and the brigade be willing to partner with PA Oath Keepers and setup a meeting with Sheriff Weaknecht and the Reading Chief of police in regards to this unconstitutional action. Please respond ASAP so we can move forward quickly on this matter, thank you.
Hmmm…. An “active Sheriffs’ brigade”? What is that? That sounded very interesting, so I went to their web page – http://www.sheriffbrigadesofpenn.com/
It is a very fine website, attractively and conservatively done, easy to explore, beautiful in its simplicity and brevity. And it is a powerful website. While I visited there I found a page on the history of the Sheriff. It reminded me of Sheriff Mack’s booklet, “The County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope”. A synopsis of the article linked here is a chapter in Sheriff Mack’s book.
But the Sheriffs’ brigades of Pennsylvania is a remarkable situation, and as I continued reading at their website I also learned this –
The County Sheriff Brigades of Pennsylvania (CSBP) is a group of concerned Citizens in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania devoted to helping each County Sheriff Brigade in this Commonwealth accomplish their mission to educate and network the Citizens of the County for the support of their constitutional Sheriff as he or she upholds their solemn “oath of office”, keeps the peace, and preserves and protects the inalienable rights of “We The People”. The CSBP is not affiliated with any Sheriff or any Sheriff’s office. The CSBP is not to be construed as being a militia group, a para-military group, or as having anything to do with violence or hostility toward any person or group or cause. The CSBP is a law abiding grassroots organization comprised of patriotic, freedom loving Americans. We invite anyone who may experience even the slightest initial reaction of anxiety or fear about CSBP and/or any County Sheriff Brigade to become enlightened and informed about who we are. We encourage everyone in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to join a County Sheriff Brigade in celebrating and protecting the blessings of freedom and truth in our great State and nation.
Definition: ‘Brigade’, (transitive verb) 2: a group of people organized for special activities. Example: a Bucket Brigade
So with that much in mind, I began to see Larry Liguori’s logic in volunteering Pennsylvania Oath Keepers as support via liaison. It’s a direct action, a boots-on-the-ground operation in which Oath Keepers supports an established venue for grassroots education about the proper role of the Office of Sheriff. That in turn, if even partially successful, will remove Sheriff Office complicity in Federal usurpation at the County level. It is a vision very central to the initial, primary vision for which Stewart Rhodes created Oath Keepers. Our purpose is to reach, teach, and inspire all who took the Oath to honor that Oath.
Better yet – when our purpose generates activity beyond the ideology which spawns it, when it causes things to happen “in the real world”, the excitement of our mission becomes a patriot’s joy. I could see that in Larry’s decision to approach the County Sheriff Brigades of Pennsylvania. And now Larry has made it even more lucid for me with this email I received today –
PA Oath Keepers,
This is a follow up to yesterday’s email. I spoke by phone last night with Bill Reil who is the leader of the Sheriff brigades of PA http://www.sheriffbrigadesofpenn.com/ and also a fellow Oath Keeper and he informed me the leadership of the local Berks county brigade has a meeting scheduled with Berks Sheriff Eric Weaknecht tomorrow and they prefer to carry the water on this since they already have a working relationship with him. After which the Sheriff has indicated he will make a public statement on the DNA swabs conducted last week which he has stated he had no fore knowledge of. For those that aren’t aware Sheriff Weaknecht is probably the strongest Constitutional Sheriff in PA and it is expected that he will come out strong against these DNA swabs. After which our organization will issue a formal press release through the local paper the Reading Eagle. We individually and as an org. must push back every time these assaults on our Liberties occur and please if anyone has any ideas on the most effective way we can respond as an org. on future attacks to our liberties please share. One of our members has suggested a Minuteman team of volunteers to provide boots on the ground and other volunteers behind the scenes that pound the phones to these municipalities and elected officials etc. when these attacks occur, let me know what you think. Thank you
For God & Country,
Oath Keepers PA Chapter
That is the kind of activism I like to see in our State and County chapters across America. I know that Mississippi Oath Keepers and Oregon Oath Keepers and Las Vegas Oath Keepers among others are working at the County level with PANDAA to fight the NDAA, while Nebraska Oath Keepers and Orange County Oath Keepers are working inside County and State government. As Oath Keepers’ editor, I salute all activist Oath Keepers and invite Oath Keepers everywhere to follow suit in your own way, in your own Counties, to do your part in ensuring that this great nation shall not fall during our time at the helm – Not On Our Watch!
Thanks, Larry. Let me know how National can be of assistance in your fight there.
Elias Alias, editor
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