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Thread: Sheriff's officials' texts show combative view toward gun activists

  1. #1
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    Sheriff's officials' texts show combative view toward gun activists

    Things are getting crazy out in Orange County, California

    Here's a link to the actual e-mail snapshots of their blackberry communications.

    HT to activeshooter at

    Sheriff's officials' texts show combative view toward gun activists
    Series of messages disparaged activists and county supervisors protesting new gun policies.
    The Orange County Register
    Monday, February 2, 2009

    Transcripts of text messages sent by Orange County sheriff's officials during a November 2008 Board of Supervisors meeting shows the law enforcement leaders used their cell phones to ridicule activists and even supervisors during a public hearing on gun permit policies.

    The messages, obtained under a public records request by a group named Ordinary California Citizens Concerned With Safety, reveal a combative tone by sheriff's command staff toward the activists. Some county supervisors questioned whether that defensiveness triggered the large security presence that met activists when they returned to a January meeting seeking to again criticize Sheriff Sandra Hutchens' gun policies.

    "We are locked in mortal battle. … It is ugly. We will survive however," wrote Assistant Sheriff Mike Hillmann as he sat in the audience at 1:17 p.m. during the Nov. 18 board meeting.

    Hillmann, a former LAPD deputy chief recruited by Hutchens to help reform Orange County's troubled department, made fun of County Supervisor Janet Nguyen – a vocal critic of Hutchen's concealed weapons policies. Hillmann texted: "I hope Janet has a pet she can call a friend."

    Nguyen said she was shocked by the tone of the texts and was having her staff review more than 300 pages of the messages.

    "It clearly shows the attitude that's over at that department. It shows no respect," Nguyen said. "It shows clearly they have no respect for us as a governing body, much less the residents."

    Sheriff Hutchens apologized for what she called the unprofessional conduct of staff members, but stressed the opinions revealed by the text messages had nothing to do with the increased security at the next gun permit hearing. Hutchens added that she appreciated the input from those who disagree with her concealed weapons policies.

    "Clearly, I do not condone comments that were made on the e-mails and I have admonished those that participated in that as being unprofessional conduct and I do not expect that to occur again," Hutchens said. She said the department policy is that agency-issued BlackBerrys are to be used for business only.

    By the next meeting on gun permit issues Jan. 13, gun activists were confronted by a very different boardroom.

    Large placards in the front lobby read "No Firearms allowed." Responding to a series of unspecified threats, numerous plainclothes investigators and uniformed SWAT deputies were out in full force. Activists wearing green buttons that read CCW said they felt intimidated as they approached the dais to offer comments. Three people wearing green buttons were questioned but no one was detained and no firearms were confiscated.

    Supervisor Chris Norby said the texts gave credence to accusations that sheriff's officials increased security at that meeting to stifle opposition.

    "I think they were surprised, taken aback (by the Nov. 18 meeting) and when they thought it was going to be repeated, they treated that as a security issue," Norby said.

    He also said the text messages raises questions about the command staff.

    "It sounds like there is a serious control issue there," Norby said. "These are her top deputies that advise her and (they are texting) at county expense and on county equipment and they are belittling the public."

    During the Nov. 18 meeting, hundreds of concealed weapons activists showed up to let supervisors know they opposed the new policies adopted by Hutchens. After taking office, Hutchens announced she would tighten the permit policies relaxed during the tenure of former Sheriff Mike Carona.

    That has triggered a fierce backlash by activists, the National Rifle Association and even the Board of Supervisors.

    During the November hearing, one by one, a row of activists took to the microphone at the board of supervisors and told Hutchens that her policies were unfair and a bad fit for a county known as Republican and pro-Second Amendment. The meeting lasted hours and by the end, most county supervisors had joined in criticizing Hutchens' approach to the gun permits.

    The text messages released to the activist group highlight how uncomfortable sheriff's officials were at the hearing.

    Shortly after 2 p.m. at the November meeting, R.J. Morris, an activist who had applied for a gun permit, got up to offer his critique.

    Sheriff's officials immediately cyber-insulted Morris, who wears a bow tie and tinted glasses, through a series of text messages.

    "Is that Elton John?" wrote department spokesman Damon Micalizzi.

    One secretary sent Hillmann a message, "That guy that is up speaking now is CREEPY!! Nice hair and nice bow tie."

    Hillmann replied, "That is the new investigator and gang officer attire."

    Morris, 56, who is a airline transport pilot, said he was "shocked" at the lack of professionalism in the text communications. The North Tustin resident was also deeply hurt given the fact that he has expressed interest in helping the department upgrade its air squadron.

    "It makes me feel embarrassed that I've supported the sheriff," said Morris. "It makes me look like a fool."

    Morris, who was among the most neutral of department critics on the gun policy issue, insists that "just because we're at odds with the administration, it in no means degrades our appreciation to the men and women who serve."

    Nevertheless, Hillmann, toward the end of a long hearing, texted an agent with the FBI: "This has been unbelievable. Am ready to stick a pencil in my eye."

    Although the text messages showed a defensiveness among high-level sheriff's officials, Hutchens said she does not see the department as being engaged in combat with the concealed weapons advocates.

    "I don't see them as enemies. I see it as a healthy debate," Hutchens said. "If anybody needs to be listening it's me."

  2. #2
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    If anybody needs to be listening it's me
    Isn't that the damn truth
    If you ever crawl inside an old hollow log and go to sleep, and while you're in there some guys come and seal up both ends and then put it on a truck and take it to another city, boy, I don't know what to tell you. - Jack Handey

  3. #3
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    Closed Account

  4. #4
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    And people call me a 'cop basher' when I point out these types of behavior.
    "There is no lie too grotesque, too stupid, or too base for leftist extremists to retell." -- Standing Wolf

    Posted from my Ubuntu machine.

  5. #5
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    Wooster, Ohio
    If only "lacking respect for citizens" was grounds for removal from public office, the state and federal governments would be a lot better.
    The worst things happen at the most critical times, and it's these moments that YOU need to be flawless, not the gun.

    Years of Communist oppression have made the Mosin Nagant impervious to physical damage.

  6. #6
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    Blue River Wisconsin, in a little hut in the woods
    I think the sheriff should relocate to a country that believes in keeping their people defenseless. Japan is nice this time of year and they don't like their people carrying, owning or shooting guns. London isn't bad, nobody with guns there except outlaws so a man woman or child with gun can be considered a free target for armed law enforcement officers. A delightful place for an officer of the law who prefers his clients sheeplike and defenseless.
    1934 National Firearms Act, 1968 The Gun Control Act, 1986 Firearms Owners Protection Act, 1993 Brady Handguns Violence Act, 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, 1995 Gun Free School Zones Act, NO MORE COMPROMISING

  7. #7
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    You get what you vote for....

  8. #8
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    You get what you vote for....
    if memory serves me this woman was appointed after the former sheriff was found to be a crook.
    whirled peas Through Superior Firepower

  9. #9
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    Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia
    This is absolutely disgusting. If I ever used work-issued communication equipment in such a manner I would be terminated immediately. But then, my employer has much higher standards of conduct for its employees.
    EFI, LLC - 07 FFL / C2 SOT in Inwood, WV - Custom Firearms & Gunsmithing

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