With the increase in propaganda being pushed by the mainstream media government police state agencies regarding “right wing extremists” and “domestic terrorists,” many are no longer surprised when law enforcement or government agents single out individuals or groups that may express controversial or unpopular points of view, or even points of view that are simply critical of government or its agents.
Most people are content to accept the fact that these types of free speech violations happen but that they happen somewhere else like New York or Los Angeles where any number of things can happen on any given day.
However, some South Carolina residents are receiving a wake-up call today, as police in Kershaw County have been placed on alert for “people out there that might want to hurt them.” The reason for the alert? An article that was posted to a Facebook page and an individual that “liked” it.
The article, entitled “When Should You Shoot A Cop?” was published by CopBlock.org, an organization that promotes transparency and accountability of law enforcement. The article discusses the issue of resistance to police “authority” and those police officers who are acting in an illegal fashion. The article also discusses the right that you have, as an individual, to defend your life and your person even when it is being threatened by a member of the police.
The article in question can be read here. Read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with the thesis, the article never advocates or encourages anyone to kill police. At worst, it advocates the use of lethal force in self-defense. In fact, no one in Kershaw County is claiming that it does. It simply states that you have the right to defend yourself and your rights against unlawful police action, even to the point of using lethal force if necessary.
The article became an issue when Jeff Mattox, the co-chair of the Kershaw County Republican party, “liked” the article on Facebook. According to WISTV.com, the article was posted to Facebook by the Kershaw County Patriots, a grassroots conservative political organization of which Mattox is a member. It was at this point that he committed the crime of “liking” the article.
As a result, the Sheriff of Kershaw County, Jim Matthews, a man with an extensive background in freedom-crushing law enforcement divisions such as the DEA and SWAT (as well as the FBI and the US Army), put his officers on high alert upon his knowledge of the article.
He then went to the local newspaper where he stated, “The article in and of itself doesn’t advocate shooting an officer, but some who read it will get out of it what they want . . . Some warped individuals may get it in their mind that it’s OK to resist an officer to the point of shooting them.” Matthews also stated that the article “irritated” him because it came out just as he was about to attend the funeral of a Laurens County Deputy.
Of course, Mattox didn’t write the article. He didn’t even post it to Facebook. He merely “liked” it on someone else’s page. Not only that, but the Sheriff, as quoted above, even admits that the article itself never advocated shooting an officer.
But that didn’t stop the Sheriff from fear mongering the public and his officers about the dangers of free speech and those who not only exercise it, but those who listen to it. Thoughtcrime if you will.
Predictably, Mattox is now being asked by the Kershaw County Republican party, specifically by the Chariman Chris Oviatt, to step down. However, to his credit, Mattox has refused to step down or to apologize for the article.
Of course, the Sheriff and the Republican establishment are not the only enemies of free speech in Kershaw County. The majority of the Kershaw County Law Enforcement community seems to have rallied behind the belief that anyone who dares advocate (even passively) that someone defend themselves against state-sanctioned thuggery is a dangerous potential domestic terrorist.
Indeed, Camden Police Chief Joe Floyd has also placed his officers on high alert for individuals who “don’t recognize police authority.”
Floyd says, “We have knowledge now that some of these ideas exist here in Kershaw County. We’re just reinforcing the training that we already put our officers through, just to be watchful and mindful that the potential does exist, that people out there that might want to hurt them.”
Aside from the fact that Chief Floyd is frightened by Kershaw County citizens having ideas different from his own, one must wonder exactly what kind of training he is talking about.
Is the training that which was handed down from the Department of Homeland Security, such as that found in the MIAC document, which lists gun owners and returning veterans as specific threats?
Is it the criteria for domestic terrorists listed in the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Law Enforcement Pamphlet that includes “buying baby formula, beer, wearing Levi jeans, carrying identifying documents like a driver’s license and traveling with women or children?”
Is it the training provided by the Virginia training manual that lists potential domestic terrorists as those who advocate private property and “includes binoculars, video cameras, paper pads and notebooks in a compendium of terrorist tools.?”
Or, perhaps it was provided in the pages of the DHS document, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” which classifies a wide swath of Americans as potential domestic terrorists and suggests that the economic crisis, and other crises, may provoke a rise in “homegrown” terrorists.
One can only speculate as to the “training” that Chief Floyd speaks of.
However, considering the increase in propaganda, particularly in the wake of the Norway shooting, we should anticipate that the kind of overblown reactions such as that of the Kershaw County Sheriff and Camden Police Chief will only continue to increase.
We encourage you to contact the county and express your distaste for First Amendment violations.
Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University where he earned the Pee Dee Electric Scholar’s Award as an undergraduate. He has had numerous articles published dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, and civil liberties. He also the author of Codex Alimentarius – The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies and Five Sense Solutions.