A mayor who wants to disband the police department. A police chief accused of wrongdoing. City officials accused of misappropriation of funds. All the makings of a great TV drama.
Unfortunately, this is real life in a small Texas town.
As reported by the Fort Worth Star Telegram, TheTexas Municipal Police Associationcame out criticizing the small community of Blue Mound for firing Randy Baker, who was police chief for two years.
Kevin Lawrence, executive director of the Austin-based police association, said that it is rare for the organization to speak publicly about matters involving police officers, calling it a “last resort.”.
Baker was hired as police chief in 2017 and then fired in June after mayor Alan Hooks accused him of “flipping off” a water department worker and “unprofessional behavior” toward other employees.
“You’ve got a police chief who is a good, decent individual who is getting punished for doing the right thing. We try our level best not to speak out on anything unless it’s the last resort,” Lawrence told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Baker is now suing the city for wrongful termination.
In his lawsuit, Baker alleged that the city of Blue Mound was in violation of the Texas Whistleblower Act after firing him in a retaliatory manner for reporting that city officials were misusing crime control district funds by putting the money in the city’s general fund, asking officers to write more citations to bring in revenue and tampering with a government document when a person on social security benefits was hired to trim trees.
Baker claimed that the checks were deposited into the spouse’s account so that the income wouldn’t get reported to the government.
Blue Mound’s mayor Alan Hooks has denied the allegations, stating that Baker was fired because of unprofessional conduct.
Baker contacted the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office, the Texas Rangers and the Texas Comptroller’s office to report his concerns.
The suit also stated that Baker contacted a prosecutor in the white-collar crime division of the district attorney’s office, regarding the accusation of tampering with a government document, but Samantha Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office, said she can’t comment on whether there is an investigation.
“I can only say that there is not a case filed with our office,” Jordan said.
Lawrence goes on to say:
“Cities adopt civil service to take politics out of law enforcement. But there are people who have political connections who think rules don’t apply to them. If we allow those influences that means the citizens lose. It’s not police officers that need due process, citizens need due process.You can’t fire somebody for being a whistleblower. There are limits to the at will employment doctrine. I think small towns are missing out on that.”
This is not the first time Baker has been terminated. He was also dismissed by the Carroll Independent School District after he placed an autistic 8-year old in handcuffs.
Baker was a supervising sergeant working in the Carroll school district on Jan. 23, 2014, when he was called to Carroll Elementary School by a fellow officer to help restrain an unruly student
The school principal, Stacy Wagnon, was helping the 8-year-old student with a math assignment when he started cursing and throwing things on the floor, the order stated. The student also hit the principal with a cup of coffee.
The student brought a jump rope from home that was described as a weapon, “home-built nun-chucks,” used profanity and refused to give the weapon to school staff, the order said.
Baker came and handcuffed the student and told him he could not hit police officers or school staff, the order said. But when the student’s mother arrived, she said the child was autistic and that he was only 8, the order said.
“We did nothing wrong,” Baker said in a telephone interview Thursday. “Before Jan. 23, I did not know the child was autistic. He was in regular classes with all the other students.”
The court order dismissing the case said Baker acted reasonably. Baker was still terminated.
The student, called “S.W.” on court documents, had an initial violent confrontation with school staff on Jan. 7, 2014, while serving an in-school suspension. The student screamed at school staff, overturned a round table, punched Wagnon in the stomach and kicked her on the leg.
The court said there was not enough evidence to pursue a claim of unreasonable seizure or uphold a claim of violation of constitutional rights.
“Baker did what was necessary to ensure this child did not hurt himself or someone else,” said Randall Moore, Baker’s attorney. “He did what was needed, and had he not done what he did and the child had gotten hurt he would have been accused of not doing his job. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. I think the city of Southlake owes Chief Baker an apology for firing him.”
Just before his firing, Baker spoke out against Mayor Hooks after a story ran on the local CBS affiliate station.
That report stated that Blue Mound was looking into eliminating its city police department, a move the mayor says was related to budget concerns but that the police chief believes is personal.
Hooks and Baker both admitted that they had been butting heads in the last eight months, with Hooks saying he has lost confidence in the chief over a matter currently being investigated.
Baker said it’s the result of two meetings Hooks held with officers, telling them they needed to add to city revenues by writing more traffic tickets. The chief saidhe informed the mayor he couldn’t legally institute any form of ticket writing quota.
Hooks claims to have only asked about citation numbers, after noticing a significant drop-off when he and the chief had a falling out. He said he never demanded a mandatory quota.
The city was looking to contract for law enforcement services with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department.
The city council voted 3-2 to give Hooks the go-ahead to move forward with getting a proposal from the county. He believes initial numbers show it could save the city upwards of $200,000 a year.
The final decision, he said, would involve at least two public meetings and a vote of the city council.
“We have to let them have all their input that they want,” Hooks said. “And if they come up and say no we don’t want the Sheriff’s department, it ain’t happening.”
Baker said he believes that it is only Hooks and a few members of the city council who were interested in possibly cutting the department.
City council member Linda Watson, who voted against the idea, said she had only learned of the plan recently.
While money may be part of it, she said, she also believes the move is retaliatory in nature.
Calling the current department the best the city has ever had, she said a contracted law enforcement service would not have the same connection with the city.
“I think the citizens are going to unite and hopefully convince the powers that be, that our police department needs to be here,” she said.
Hooks said the idea to get rid of the department is not personal, but strictly a dollars and cents issue.
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Just last week, an entire Pennsylvania fire company was closed by town officials. Why? Because one of its volunteer firefighters once attended Proud Boys social gatherings.
You read that right.
The department is in Haverford Township, part of Delaware County.
The day after it happened, the township’s manager David Burman released a statement. He said the department was informed on Aug. 12 that a volunteer with the Bon Air Fire Company was affiliated with “an organization described as an extremist group”.
Burman said the township immediately launched an investigation, which included interviewing the volunteer. He apparently admitted he had been briefly involved with the Proud Boys, having attended social gatherings hosted by the group and passing two of the group’s four initiation steps, “which includes hazing.”
Burman’s statement then talked about the group’s “self-proclaimed basic tenet,” which is posted on their website. It says they are “Western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which itself has come under fire for being a far left organization, has designated them as a “hate group” who “are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric”.
Women and transgender men are not allowed in the group, which has apparently made them a hate group.
According to Burman, the volunteer “indicated that he had attempted to distance himself from the group in recent months”.
Burman says he and a police official met with Bon Air Fire Company officials on Aug. 14 to address “the seriousness of this matter and urged the fire company to address it.”
According to Burman, he was informed the next day that the volunteer had offered his resignation over having attended the events a year before.
The Bon Air Fire Company chief had refused to accept it.
Burman seemingly lost his mind when, a week later, he received an email that said the fire company’s board had “found no basis for terminating the volunteer’s membership.”
“The email included no indication that the fire company would take any action whatsoever,” Burman’s statement said. “The Bon Air Fire Company’s failure to address this matter conflicts with the public policy of Haverford Township, which includes ensuring that all persons are treated fairly and equally, and that all persons enjoy the full benefits of citizenship.
So he shut down the department, announcing the Bon Air Fire Company was “relieved of duty indefinitely”.
The Bon Air Fire Company put out a statement, saying the township stripped the station of its equipment and trucks.
In that statement, they said the company had investigated the volunteer’s involvement with the “outside organization” and found that he had “limited interactions” with the group and that he had ultimately decided not to join.
“He never attended any rallies or protests, and he disassociated himself from the group more than one year ago,” the statement said.
The volunteer was a six-year veteran with the company. He was not identified in the statements from the company or the township.
We do know, however, that he was recently honored by Bon Air Fire Company. They said he “has always acted as a caring person dedicated to serving his community” and “has not acted in any way which suggests his behavior would be influenced by this organization,” the statement said.
“For these reasons, the Fire Company decided not to terminate the services of the volunteer.”
The statement was written by two attorneys. In it, they lambasted the closure of the station. They also said the township was depriving the community of 37 firefighters and three firetrucks during emergencies.
There are some 50,000 people who live in Haverford Township.
The fire company urged residents to “please let their commissioners know that the Township is wrong to close the Bon Air Fire Company.”
In the meantime, if you’re a college professor, you can apparently declare “I am Antifa” and talk about attacking President Trump and killing Christians and there are no consequences.
Jeff Klinzman, a Kirkwood College adjunct English professor, has gone on the record to confirm that he is Antifa.
For those who are unfamiliar with Antifa, let’s get you up to speed. Antifa is a group of people who claim to be anti-violence while deploying violence.
They claim to support freedom of speech while violently shutting down the speech of those with whom they disagree. These individuals will agitate and instigate in hopes of throwing punches, swinging bats, hammers and crowbars
The Washington Times calls Antifa a group that has been behind multiple violent protests nationwide, saying they are focused on physically fighting far right and white supremacist groups. The FBI has monitored the group and President Trump is considering designating it as a domestic terrorist organization.
Klinzman, told a local TV station’s investigative team, “I affirm that I am ‘antifa.'”
He declined to take part in an interview citing safety concerns but said in an email he makes no apology for what he has posted online.
It is a bit ironic that Antifa does not care about the safety of its targets, but they do carry a deep concern for their own.
Klinzman said what he has posted on social media drew complaints at Kirkwood Community College.
A quick view of the “Iowa Antifa” Facebook page details many far-left statements, conversations and photos.
One of them features a tweet from President Trump calling the group, “Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting… people over the heads with baseball bats”. The professor wrote in response, “Yeah, I know who I’d clock with a bat…”
The Secret Service says that they are aware of the posts but would not confirm if they are investigating it as a threat to the President.
An attorney from Cedar Rapid, Sara Riley said that while what Klinzman posted may suggest an act of violence against the president, she does not expect him to be charged.
“It’s so ambiguous that there is just no way that he’d ever be considered a true threat,” said Riley.
According to KCRG, a search through Klinzman’s Facebook page shows over the years that he has also made statements expressing his desire to “stop evangelical Christians” where he included a poem that said:
“Kill them all and bury them deep in the ground”.
Klinzman went on to explain:
“It’s not pretty, and I’m not proud, but seeing what evangelical Christians are doing to this county and its people fills me with rage, and a desire to exact revenge.”
Klinzman as the utmost contempt for those of the Christian faith.
The investigative team also shared posts between the professor and Pastor Dave Doyle of Hope Christian Fellowship in Cedar Rapids. Doyle thinks Klinzman should be removed from the classroom immediately.
“This is not something you can just dance around the topic,” said Doyle. “You have to confront it, you have to face it, you to deal with it, sometimes very bluntly and I don’t see that is what Kirkwood is doing there right now.”
Klinzman did say in a statement that his comments about killing Christians may have gone too far but he said he would only apologize to those Christians who share his “commitment” to various issues facing the country.
It is mighty nice of him to be so willing to apologize to Christians for the hateful wishes of death he made towards Christians, as long as they were amongst the Christians who happen to subscribe to his particular brand of hatred and intolerance.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say, that while a person’s eternal salvation (or lack thereof) is a matter known only to the individual and God, I would have to question how anyone could legitimately claim to be a Christian while also espousing the beliefs, ideology and hate-filled thought process that Klinzmen and the rest of the Antifa ilk possess.
A Kirkwood spokesperson declined requests to interview someone with the college about this situation.
As it turns out, students of the college had plenty to say about Klinzman. It is noteworthy that an English professor spends so much time inject his beliefs and agendas into Shakespearean soliloquies and dangling participles. Users of Rate My Professor said the following:
“Way too opinionated and grades fluctuate based on your ideology. Very little consistency, and he’s often having to struggle to regain his composure after being challenged. He will not admit he made an error and will punish you for showing him it. Most of the assignment topics were taken from other college website curriculum.”
“Whatever you do, don’t interrupt him when he’s telling stories about his glory days of protesting, and how much of a rebel he thinks he still is. He’s mean, he’s a bigot, and he’s sexist as heck. He treats the female students who aren’t hairy-pitted feminists like they are garbage. He’s arrogant and condescending. Just really a bad instructor.”
“He has no clue about teaching pedagogy, grading scales, and just common-sense communication skills. What he says and what actually happens are two totally different things. He needs to think about what the class focus is, not just his personal agenda.”
“If you only want to write about and talk about race and gender, take this class with him, but that is all you will talk about. Also, his grading scale is messed up. if you do an assignment exactly how it should be done, you will get a C, in order to get better than that you have to do double what the requirements ask.”
It is unfathomable that a state-funded community college would continue to employ someone who readily admits to being a member of a group that encourages and practices violence against those with whom they disagree.
While they claim to be fighting against the “bigoted” right-wing of America, they also have no problem beating a gay man of Asian descent in public and broad daylight.
The photojournalist and members of law enforcement were reportedly attacked and assaulted by masked antifa members during a massive protest in downtown Portland on Saturday.
“I just got beat up by the crowd — no police at all — in the middle of the street,” journalist Andy Ngo said in an online post. “And they stole my GoPro. And they punched me several times in my face and head, and I’m bleeding.”
The scuffles began with a small gathering of the Proud Boys group. Officers within the city noted that they had also been struck with flying items like eggs, milkshakes, rocks and more.
Ngo showed signs of cuts and bruises on his face and neck and evidently had a milkshake and other projectiles thrown at him while he was trying to get away.
A video of the scene shows the moments that the masked protesters rush Ngo, throwing items at him while also throwing punches and harsh kicks. The crowd pulls back after an original punch was delivered, but then a number of black-clad individuals rush in, attacking Ngo as he is surrounded.
Rose City Antifa had reportedly called out Ngo in an online post promoting the “Community Self Defense Against Proud Boy Attack,” calling him a “[l]ocal far-right Islamophobic journalist.”
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