MESA, AZ, May 20, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Encouraged and inspired by the growing number of law enforcement officers across the nation who are refusing to enforce unjust and unconstitutional mandates handed down by local and state executive authorities, Citizens for Free Speech (CFFS), is celebrating the commitment of the law enforcement community to preserving and defending the First Amendment for all Americans.
"Are you doing the right thing? Many officers out there are trampling on people’s liberties. Ask yourself, are you doing the right thing?”
These were the introductory words of Greg Anderson, a police officer with the Port of Seattle, to a video he uploaded on May 7 in response to ever-expanding stay-at-home orders and other restrictions ordered by Washington Governor Jay Inslee. Anderson’s nearly nine-minute commentary quickly went viral, and was cheered by officers and civilians across the country for its reminder of the oath that all law enforcement officers take to uphold the Constitution. The 10-year veteran officer explained that orders that violate the First Amendment of civilians are no orders at all.
“I want to remind you that regardless of where you stand on the coronavirus,” Anderson stated, “we don’t have the authority to do those things to people just because a mayor or a governor tells you otherwise violate people’s constitutional rights because somebody in our chain of command tells us otherwise.
“I’m imploring officers to look inside themselves and ask themselves, ‘Is this what I want to be doing to my citizens?’”
Anderson’s question is one that all officers should consider, according to Patrick Wood, Executive Director of CFFS.
“Officer Anderson took the extraordinary step of measuring his job responsibilities against his own conscience, and against the oath he swore in defense of the constitutional rights of his fellow citizens,” Wood said. “And he did so at his own peril, as he was quickly suspended by his department for violating policy with his public appeal to officers across the nation to follow his lead.”
Fortunately, Anderson’s sacrifice has not been in vain, as more examples of law enforcement rejecting lawless mandates continue to surface.
Sheriff James Mendrick in DuPage County, IL declared this week that he will continue to speak on behalf of the citizens and businesses of his county, in defiance of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders.
“As Sheriff, I feel that my own 1st amendment constitutional right to free speech has been completely trampled on by a governor who has threatened…me not to speak. I just can’t do this anymore. I stand with our citizens and businesses of DuPage County. We are not stormtroopers. We are peacekeepers.”
Similarly, in Crook County, OR, Sheriff John Gautney has chosen the Bill of Rights over Governor Kate Brown’s restrictive and punitive orders.
“If a business decides to open, that is a decision the business owner makes. If customers choose to shop with that business that is that person’s choice,” Gautney said. “I believe in supporting the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Oregon and the laws thereof. I also try to apply common sense in the application of those laws.”
It's a message well-received by Wood and the free speech-defenders at CFFS.
“The best news is that the courage of our law enforcement officers in defending the rights of the citizens they serve is being backed up by the courts,” Wood stated. “Just this week, a circuit judge in Oregon declared Governor Brown’s emergency lockdown orders to be ‘null and void’.”
The Oregon Supreme Court has since issued a stay on Judge Matthew Shirtcliff’s ruling that social distancing mandates were unconstitutional, in a case brought by local churches, and the case remains under appeal.
Still, the fact that outrageous mandates handed down by tyrannical executives are being challenged by law enforcement in all parts of the country is reason enough for hope.
From the West Coast, where Humboldt County, CA Sheriff William Honsal declares, “If an order is issued that I believe violates our constitutional rights, I will not enforce it,” to the Midwest, where Polk County, WI Sheriff Brent Waak says, “I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution…I have always respected the civil liberties of the citizens,” to the East, where Cumberland County, PA Sheriff Ronny Anderson states, “Our office will not be enforcing any order the violates our Constitutional Rights,” the tide seems to be turning in favor of the citizens, to the dismay of the would-be authoritarians in charge.
“We are not here to encourage anarchy,” Wood explained in support of his group’s position. “CFFS does not support anyone willingly violating the law. However, we do stand with law enforcement officials who recognize that a law that violates the Constitutional rights of Americans is no law at all. We will continue to defend the rights of the people in opposition to the will of would-be authoritarians whose goal remains to gain further control over a panicked citizenry.”