Former police officer who resigned due to PTSD in 2007 and is homeless receives $650K in lost wages

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TORONTO, CANADA- After a decade-long battle with Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), former Toronto police officer Ralph Thistle was paid $630,000.

According to reports, the money finally came in after CBC News began looking into why WSIB had waited more than nine months after an appeal tribunal determined that Thistle was owed the money because his career was cut short in 2007 due to the post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) he suffered during his 29-year policing career.

The money paid covers the time between 2007, when Thistle abruptly resigned from the police force, just months before being eligible for retirement and a pension. His PTSD and dilemma of not earning any money nor receiving his earned pension pushed him into poverty and homelessness.

In 2015, Thistle moved into a cabin with no running water. He stated that due to his PTSD, seeing the checks totaling $630,000 was both a relief, but also overwhelming. He added:

“I took the checks home and took a picture of them in the envelopes still and notified my family. I had to slow down my thought process and my emotions. I’m staring at the cheques in disbelief.”

The WSIB’s public affairs manager stated that when the tribunal awarded Thistle 15 and a half years worth in lost wages, it did not set an exact dollar amount that he was owed. In an email statement, Christine Arnott told CBC News:

“We make every effort to provide recovery and health services and benefit payments as quickly as possible. In some instances, it make take longer than any of us would like to gather all the information and documents required to calculate relevant payments, especially for claims dating back many years.”

The 64-year-old former police officer, who has served as a senator on the Mètis Nation of Ontario, said that he had been relying on the generosity of his Indigenous community, family, and friends.

He said that getting a well drilled and running water in his cabin that he shares with his service dog, Rupert, is his first priority. He stated:

“I’ve already placed the call. The thought that it’s coming is such a relief.”

He added that the lost wages he has finally received will help him build a better life for himself and his two adult children. He said:

“I’m numb, but I also have gratitude. This money is a second chance for me and my family. The money’s great, but I still have PTSD.”

During summer 2020, it was reported that several Minneapolis police officers were seeking disability for the PTSD suffered during the violent riots after the death of George Floyd. According to reports, more than 150 officers filed work-related disability claims, with nearly three-quarters citing PTSD.

While Floyd’s death in May 2020 and the unrest that followed were not the direct cause of the disability requests, attorney Ron Meuser said that those events coupled with lack of support from city leadership were a breaking point for many officers who had already been suffering with PTSD from years on the job. Meuser said in a statement:

“Following the George Floyd incident, unfortunately it became too much and as a result they were unable to and are unable to continue on and move forward. They feel totally and utterly abandoned.”

Meuser opposes calls to dismantle or defund the police department and said he hopes that the news of veteran officers leaving will make the public reassess the city’s decision to not only defund the police, but not hire additional officers to fill vacancies. He added:

“The men and women in public safety who give their heart and soul to serve Minneapolis and keep it safe deserve to have Minneapolis leaders stepping up and supporting them. Instead of spending time plotting the dismantling of the force, let’s come together to improve community trust and work towards a safer city for all.”

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Arizona Supreme Court grants former sheriff’s officer workers’ comp for PTSD after shooting

March 4th, 2021

GILA COUNTY, AZ– Former Gila County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant John France’s long battle over his PTSD diagnosis has finally come to an end, with a victory.  

On Tuesday, March 2nd, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that France, who was in law enforcement for over 35 years, will finally get the compensation he deserves. 

France filed for workers’ compensation after he shot and killed a man who was pointing a shotgun at him and refused to drop it.

France and another deputy with him were cleared of any wrongdoing, but France was diagnosed with PTSD and fought for years to get workers’ compensation for it, AZCentral reported.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona denied France’s claim for workers’ compensation, citing a state law that requires mental health claims to be caused by “unexpected, unusual or extraordinary stress.” 

In 2018, the commission ruled that due to the fact that France was a trained police officer, the justification for the denial of the claim was that as a police officer, France puts his life on the line every day, and is trained to shoot and kill, thus, the incident in question was not “unexpected” or “unusual”.

Obviously not agreeing with the ruling, France appealed, and the Arizona Court of Appeals sided with him. However, it did not stop there, and in return the Gila County appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, which sided with France on Tuesday. 

France told The Arizona Republic:

“I’m just kind of numb, kind of tired, very relieved that they found in our favor. It gives me a sense of vindication,”

He went on to say: 

“It’s a huge win if we can prevent one other first responder from going through the anguish and everything associated with it that we went through.”

The incident that caused France’s PTSD occurred on June 18, 2017, when he and Deputy Cole LaBonte responded to a call in Beaver Valley, north of Payson.

AZCentral reported that the officers were responding to a call that Jacob Brown, a military veteran with PTSD, was threatening to kill himself. Their visit ended with Brown pointing his shotgun at France and refusing to drop it. Brown never fired and an investigation later found that his shotgun’s safety was on, but France feared for his life. The two officers fired ten rounds, killing Brown.

Arizona state law requires that mental health claims must be “unexpected, unusual or extraordinary stress.” According to France, this shooting was unusual stating that he had only been involved in one other gunfight in the entire 35 years of his career. However, an industrial commission judge disagreed.

Tuesday’s ruling said that France’s case meets the “unexpected, unusual or extraordinary” requirement.

Justice Andrew Gould wrote in the opinion:

“It is undisputed that the shooting incident caused France’s PTSD,” 

The term “unusual” seems to be a subjective term, and clearly not everyone has the same interpretation of it. 

AZCentral reported that Attorney Todd Lundmark told The Republic in 2020:

“You’ve got men and women who are risking their lives every day. What do we do with that?” 

He went on to say:

“If you and I were involved in a shooting, that would be a life-changing event. But first responders train for those.”

France hopes that his ruling will set an example, and first responders will not have to fight as hard for mental health compensation in the future. 

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What border crisis? Eleven Iranians arrested in Arizona after sneaking across the US-Mexico border

February 5, 2021

ARIZONA– Illegal aliens crossing the border from Mexico into the United States has been a continuous problem over the years. Former President Donald Trump intended to combat that problem by building a wall along the border, which angered many Democrats and liberals. 

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has halted the construction of the wall, and has yet to make a decision on if he will let the current wall remain in place. 

Many immigrants have associated Joe Biden’s presidency with an open door policy on immigration. 

On Monday evening, February 1st, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 11 Iranian citizens after they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, Fox News reported

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, around 6 p.m. Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents encountered the group near San Luis, a city in the southwest corner of Arizona, near County 21st Street and the Salinity Canal.

Agents determined the group, which consisted of five females and six males, had entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico. Agents arrested the group and took them into custody. 

The Customs and Border Protection has said that Yuma Sector agents regularly encounter people from all over the world crossing the border illegally, including people from “Special Interest Countries.”

In the last few years, Border Patrol agents at the Yuma Sector have apprehended more illegal crossers from Iran than all other Border Patrol sectors combined. Since October, Yuma Sector agents have apprehended 14 Iranian nationals. Fox News reported.

It is reported that the way Joe Biden’s administration is viewed by immigrants, along with disastrous hurricanes that hit Central America, immigration scholars say they expect a wave of people from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to try to cross the U.S.-Mexico border this year. 

Andrew Selee, president of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, wrote in November in Americas Quarterly magazine:

“Heading north will continue to be seen as an option,”

He went on to say:

“President-elect Joe Biden has promised to do things differently, treating migrants and asylum-seekers with dignity.”

Selee warned that sudden policy changes could encourage would-be border-crossers to flood north.

Report: Biden orders on immigration have put DHS, ICE into state of confusion over border enforcement

January 31, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC- Richard Andrew Cloward and his wife Frances Fox Piven had nothing on Joe Biden.

Cloward and Piven developed something called the Cloward-Piven strategy, which seeks to destroy capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy. Basically throw as much mud as possible at the wall and see what sticks. This is government under Joe Biden.

By issuing dozens of executive orders in around a week, it is hard to keep up with the damage Biden is doing to the country. Among Biden’s directives is one that will have a significant impact on our border security. Let us explain.

According to Breitbart News, Biden signed two executive orders, released through a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo which has left Immigration and Customs Enforcement confused as to their enforcement duties.

Former ICE Director Thomas Homan told Breitbart that, “It’s a mess,” speaking of Biden’s orders and directed toward the agency’s staff.

Biden’s order bans the agency from deporting nearly all illegal aliens for 100 days, an order which has at least been temporarily blocked by a federal judge. The executive order would ban deportation of all illegal aliens with the exception of those convicted of “aggravated felonies.”

The directive would also ban ICE agents from arresting illegal aliens who are not convicted felons, known or suspected terrorists, or newly-arrived border jumpers, Breitbart said.

Sources told Breitbart that the memo has led to mass confusion at the DHS, with no direction offered as to how ICE agents can arrest and detain illegal aliens who have not yet been convicted of aggravated felonies, with no end goal for their removal. ICE facilities are not set up for long-term detention.

“If an MS-13 gang member gets arrested for child rape, ICE can’t take him because he hasn’t been convicted,” Homan said.

“Even if he has a final order for removal, if he posts bond, ICE cannot touch him.”

This is merely another example of Democrats, in this case embodied in the person of Joe Biden throwing down with criminals while screwing over law enforcement.

The memo, Homan noted, was poorly written, and received no input from the immigration division at DHS for input, Homan said. Biden’s choice as deputy of the Domestic Policy Council for Immigration, Esther Olavarria is believed to have helped draft the memo, although she was not a signatory to the document.

“Nobody with immigration enforcement experience was at the table when they were writing this memo,’ Homan said.

Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies noted that DHS would typically conduct a conference call with a number of the agency’s officials prior to issuance of such a directive and noted that none of the typical protocol was followed in this case.

“I’ve talked to ICE officers in the field who said they are completely confused and concerned and as a result the managers told them to do nothing because nobody knows what they can do,” Vaughan told Breitbart.

“The language is not specific…there was no trainings or briefings.”

“’Confusion’ is the word I’ve heard most often from my ICE sources,” Vaughan continued.

An internal email which noted to “release them all” created a great deal of confusion at the agency, causing many at ICE to be “taken aback,” Breitbart said. The federal government later attempted to clarify that message, claiming it was only in reference to detainees at high risk of contracting the Chinese coronavirus.

Breitbart said they reached out to ICE, where an official seemed unclear about what the internal email had suggested.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement continues to make custody determinations on a case by case basis, in accordance with U.S. law and Department of Homeland Security policy,” the unnamed official said.

“During the course of routine operations, individuals can be released from custody based on the particular facts and circumstances of their cases,” the official continued.

“Additionally, during the COVID-19 pandemic, ICE continues to release detainees when possible or when directed by court order to maintain a detention capacity at or below 75% recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

In addition to the memo, Biden directed DHS to stop the “Remain in Mexico” policy implemented under President Trump, where illegals entering the U.S. were returned to Mexico while the U.S. processed their asylum claims. Trump’s directive effectively ended the policy of illegal border crossers being released into the interior of the U.S.

Meanwhile, thousands of migrants have been approaching the United States border with Mexico, emboldened by Biden’s promise to basically open up the country’s borders to anyone wishing to enter without penalty.

Immigration officials are currently trying to figure out how they will handle the anticipated influx of illegals into the country either seeking asylum or just deciding they want to come here and take advantage of the Democrats’ “Welcome to America” policy.

Since October, the number of apprehensions at the southern border has exploded, with nearly 208,000 illegal border crossers being apprehended in the first quarter of FY 2021—the highest level of illegal immigration over this time period in 20 years.

So what you have is millions of American citizens who are out of work due to the policies of Democrat governors and Biden welcoming illegals into the country who will be completing for a smaller number of jobs.

Welcome to Joe Biden’s America.

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