WASHINGTON – While citizens have not yet received an explanation for three mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles apparently being stored around Mohave County, a larger controversy was sparked this month by a comment by a Sheriff’s Deputy in Spokane, Washington.
Alex Jones of Infowars released a news report concentrating on a statement made by a Spokane County deputy. Apparently the officers were shopping for Christmas gifts for underprivileged children with the vehicle when a citizen approached and conducted a phone recorded video. Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich responded to the report complaining that only a second of video was used and not the whole interview. Jones released an edited copy of the whole video on his YouTube channel.
The remark made by 20-year veteran deputy and former Army member Jerry Moffit was
Well, it’s like you said. I mean, we’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons—a lot of ammunition.
When asked, next, if the officer thought that people had the right to carry have those weapons, Deputy Moffit responded:
Well, its the United States.
The Sheriff in a KXLY report stated:
There is no way this equipment will ever be used against any law abiding citizen. It will never be used to come and take your guns away.
Those assurances probably will not serve to assuage concerns in light of police unconstitutionally rounding up weapons after the Katrina debacle in Louisiana.
The surprising thing about the MRAP vehicle is that they are in places where one would not even think to look. NPR reported that the San Diego Unified School District acquired one in September of this year after paying the $5,000 shipping fee. Even in Southern California the idea did not seem popular. One reader commented on their web site:
“They can call it a ‘love buggy,’ a ‘student patrol limo,’ or a ‘campus police fun bus’ and then paint it pretty colors, but that doesn’t change the fact it’s a piece of military equipment that is unnecessary and sends the message that local officials are at war with students.”
The presence of the MRAP vehicle and statement by the deputy sparked protest rallies in Spokane in which no buildings were burned or property damaged. There were no reports of anyone being intentionally beaten and no police officer were shot execution-style. One video was released of a speech by Washington State representative Matt Shea who represents the Fourth District.
In the video, he said, “I do want to say, and I want to thank, the Sheriff Deputies in Spokane Valley who contacted me this week, and who said, ‘We don’t agree with the Sheriff. We would never arrest Constitutionalists because we are Constitutionalists’.”
Representative Shea mocked the response of the Sheriff that the statement was taken out of context saying that there is no context that would justify the statement that caused the controversy. “A real leader would have said, ‘I’m sorry’,” Shea said.
He also referenced a Senate hearing in which Rand Paul asked why the national government was giving bayonets to police departments.
Shea asked what training the deputy received which would embolden him to make such a statement. He noted that on May 11, 2007 Sheriff Knezovich brought in the Southern Poverty Law Center in to train the Sheriff’s department. He said that the Sheriff did not know the content of the training even though a picture of the Sheriff was included in the slide show.
This is not actual evidence that the Sheriff did know what was contained in the training. A cursory view of the SPLC web site, however, shows that they are an anti-constitutional organization spewing government propaganda against so-called militia groups. They are probably the group referenced as “A prominent civil rights organization” in the Right Wing Extremism memorandum issued by Department of Homeland Security director Janet Napalitano.
The Sheriff, in the interview, indicated that the use of the word Constitutionalist was unfortunate and the word extremist should have probably been used. The memorandum and the SPLC does not differentiate between the two, however. About five years ago, a video of FEMA training was leaked in which the facilitator stated that the founding fathers were terrorists.
Representative Shea ended his rally speech by saying:
So today we call upon the Sheriff of Spokane Valley to apologize to the community. To apologize to the American People. To conduct a constitutional rights class.
A School District Bought An 18-Ton MRAP Because The World Is Insane by Michael Ballaban