He pulled his department’s support from a fallen officer charity event because Trump supporters would be speaking. Now America wants answers…
Letter written and submitted by Tabitha Cornish
Dear Chief Hagel:
I am writing with the hope that you will reply to this email, as a measure of your responsibility, the valor and honor of your position, and to confirm firsthand for me information that I have read. Information that I hope and pray isn’t true.
I just read an article about your decision to cancel the Fallen Officer ‘Blue Bowl; to benefit fallen Sgt. Ron Helus because, “Trump supporters would be speaking at the event.”
Is this true?
If this is actually the case, this is simply abhorrent and despicable. This officer served and died protecting both parties, answering every single call as he was trained to do, never once pausing to ask if a victim was “Republican or Democrat” first to determine whether he would respond or not.
Shall I remind you of the code of ethics and the oath of office that you cited and agreed to as a sworn officer? I have pasted it below as a visual reminder. It explicitly states, “I WILL never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions.”
By choosing to pull out of this event you have breached and violated the code. Further, you have slapped not just the family of the fallen officer in the face, but your biggest group of law enforcement supporters.
My family lives in CA, so we understand when you say, “This is not Trump country…that slogan is not favorable, popular, within 1200 miles.”
However, those of us with a backbone do the right thing. We stand up in the face of unfavorable, unpopular surroundings and individuals and do the right thing, despite pressure to do otherwise. We stand by our oath, and the code to which we have sworn obedience. And if we cannot, we step down. It is not too late to do the right thing.
The right thing would be to say that you have an obligation to your code of ethics as a peace officer, a police chief and as a public servant. The right thing would be to say that you made a mistake and, despite your “area” not being “Trump country”, your “fundamental duty is to serve mankind, to protect the innocent against deception and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.”
The right thing would be to call the Helus family and families of other fallen officers and proudly announce that the Blue Bowl is back on.
We all make mistakes, and mistakes are fine. We are human. But it’s how we own them, show genuine remorse and correct them that matters most.
I ask you, sir, will you do the right thing? If not, you are obligated to step down.
Kindly, a concerned California parent,
(Original story printed below)
Code of Ethics
AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and torespect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.
I WILL keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
I WILL never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.
I RECOGNIZE the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God1 to my chosen profession…law enforcement.
The Actual Oath of Office Public Servants in California are Required to Take
Article 20, Section 3
ARTICLE 20 MISCELLANEOUS SUBJECTS
SEC. 3. (requirement stated above)
“I, _Tim Hagel_, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.
“And I do further swear (or affirm) that I do not advocate, nor am I a member of any party or organization, political or otherwise, that now advocates the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of the State of California by force or violence or other unlawful means; that within the five years immediately preceding the taking of this oath (or affirmation) I have not been a member of any party or organization, political or otherwise, that advocated the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of the State of California by force or violence or other unlawful means except as follows: ________________________________________________________________
(If no affiliations, write in the words “No Exceptions”) and that during such time as I hold the office of ______________ ________________________________ I will not advocate nor become (name of office) a member of any party or organization, political or otherwise, that advocates the overthrow of the Government of the United States or of the State of California by force or violence or other unlawful means.”
In case you didn’t read the original story, check out the article below.
A major fundraising event for the family of a fallen officer was put on hold indefinitely after the police chief of the California department found out that Republican figureheads would be speaking at the event.
Now, donations that had been made to help support the family are being returned and it’s unclear when or if the event will be rescheduled for a new date.
Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus died in on November 7, 2018 after a mass shooter opened fire in the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, killing 13 people and wounding approximately 12 others. The suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but Helus was tragically killed during the shooting.
The Blue Bowl event was created as a charity flag football game aimed at raising funds for the family of Sgt. Helus and other fallen officers that have been killed in the line of duty.
But after seeing the list of performers and special guest speakers, Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim Hagel apparently pulled his support, completely withdrawing the department from the event, according to a report from FOX 11 Los Angeles.
Why? Because a few prominent Republicans were on the list of those who would be attending and addressing the crowd.
But both Republican and Democrat figures had been invited to the event, including Gov. Gavin Newsom’s public safety liaison, Scott Baio, a Trump supporter who reportedly attended Helus’ church, Trump supporter and performance artist Joy Villa and Democratic Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin.
Reports claimed that Irwin was upset that her former opponent, Republican attorney Ronda Kennedy, had been invited to the event.
Well, @ScottBaio, thanks for your planned participation in the First Annual Sgt. Ron Helus Blue Bowl event in Thousand Oaks, CA but it now appears the event is in jeopardy because some elected political figures don’t want any Republicans in attendance. This is what we’ve come to.
— STU (@bleachers138) September 27, 2019
Mike Randall, vice president of the Fallen Officers Foundation, had helped organize the event in order to pay tribute to the fallen as well as provide the families with a community of support and the funds to get them through difficult times.
But then Hagel confronted him and told him that if the Republicans weren’t scrapped from the list, he would pull the department’s support for the charity.
“He basically said over and over in the conversation, ‘This is not Trump country, that slogan ‘Make America Great’ is not favorable, popular, within 1,200 square miles,’ that we don’t want Republicans here. I could not believe it,” said Randall to Fox 11.
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Hagel wasn’t finished there.
“’The only thing,’ and I quote, ‘the only thing you [could have done to make] this worse, Mike, was to invite Dick Cheney and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.’
“And I went, ‘Wow, are you kidding me?'”
Eventually Hagel told Randall that if they didn’t completely pull the Trump-supporters from the stage, he would be pulling the entire department from participating in the charity game. And eventually, he did just that.
“He goes, ‘Yeah, this ain’t gonna work for us,’ I said, ‘You’re not gonna support this with the honor guard?’ And he goes, ‘No, we’re not bringing the honor guard. We’re not coming. We’re not going to be there, not supporting it’,” said Randall.
So it appears there’s been a falling out between the out-of-town organizers of the Ron Helus Blue Bowl and the Ventura Co Sheriff’s Office. The Fla.-based organization is supposed to host a charitable flag football game at Oct. 6 at Newbury Park High School. pic.twitter.com/X4pmLlARV3
— Kyle Jorrey (@KyleBJorrey) September 26, 2019
Now, the entire event has been put on hold.
Jerseys with Sgt. Helus’ name had already been donated by the L.A. Rams. Footballs with Helus’s picture were set to be signed by NFL players. And Sgt. Helus’ wife had already met with organizers and was in full support of the event.
The department issued a formal statement retracting their participation in the charity event.
“The ‘Blue Bowl’ event was represented as a charitable flag football tournament to raise funds for the family of Sergeant Ron Helus. An event that would honor Ron’s memory and provide support to his wife Karen and son Jordan. As the event began to materialize, we became concerned with the behavior of some of the organizers of the event. Although I believe the organizers had good intentions, the event was moving in a direction we no longer felt comfortable supporting.”
MORE: Sgt. Ron Helus was among the dozen killed, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 8, 2018
Villa, who was supposed to sing at the event, called the department’s decision prejudice.
“You’re shutting down an event because of the way conservatives think, because I support the president? This is disgusting, I’m appalled, and in all my years being an out conservative, I’ve never seen something so despicable like this,” she said.
Randall went on to further condemn the partisan views of the chief and his temper tantrum, noting that when it comes down to a life and death situation, cops don’t play favorites based on party lines.
“Ron Helus was a true hero, he saved lives that night. Did he run in and go, ‘Are you Republican or Democrat or independent, I need to know before I help you?’ No they don’t. … You’ve messed with the wrong person, you’ve messed with the wrong founder, you’ve messed with the wrong foundation,” Randall said.
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