Monday, February 27, 2012

City Mayor Gives Endorsement to Soviet-style Checkpoints in South Carolina

Brandon Turbeville
February 27, 2012
Activist Post
In another development regarding the Kershaw County police state situation, it appears that the mayor of Elgin, a small city located inside Kershaw County, is now endorsing the round-the-clock DUI checkpoints initiated by the Sheriff’s Department.

For those unfamiliar with the situation, Kershaw County in South Carolina first made the news after the Sheriff put all his officers on high alert when a local activist, Jeff Mattox, “Liked” an article on Facebook.

The Sheriff insinuated that the group of activists Mattox belonged to were essentially domestic extremists who wanted to kill police.

Although the Sheriff’s Department received large amounts of bad publicity regarding the ridiculous response by the Sheriff, it did not stop him from implementing a policy of round-the-clock checkpoints located all over the county.

Opposition to the program, and a plan to protest the checkpoints, was announced by Jeff Mattox and Elgin City Councilman Larry Risvold  at a breakfast meeting with a group of conservatives in Cayce, South Carolina. In response to the activists’ plans, an obviously one-sided media attack campaign was initiated by local media outlet, WIS-TV.

When speaking to the Cayce breakfast club (known as the ‘Cayce Mafia’), Risvold stated, “It’s called a safety checkpoint and what happens is your car stops, an individual officer come up there and says, ‘Can I see your papers,’ Sound familiar? Sounds like another foreign country doesn’t it?”

WIS-TV seized on Risvold’s remarks regarding the checkpoints and attempted to create a vastly simplified and biased report. This, in itself, is interesting considering the fact that checkpoints have been a hallmark of modern tyrannies since the invention of the automobile. Conducting them inside the borders of the United States or Kershaw County does not negate this fact.

Nevertheless, the Mayor of Elgin, Brad Hanley, after viewing the video of Risvold’s comments, apparently became alarmed that there were those in Kershaw County who might not appreciate having their Fourth Amendment violated, or being subjected to harassment by uniformed (and sometimes plain-clothes) police. According to Hanley, he is totally surprised that some members of the community might not be as pleased with living under Soviet-style policing as much as he does.

In an interview with WIS, he stated, “We were surprised. We were concerned. It’s a viewpoint we hadn’t heard expressed before . . . it was concerning.”

As a result, Hanley called a special meeting of the Elgin City Council in order to vote on a resolution that he helped draft showing full and complete support to the Elgin City Police Department, the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the heavy-handed oppressive Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department.

The resolution begins by the traditional worship of law enforcement that has now become commonplace in American public discourse. It reads that the departments “provide security and protection for town and county residents and visitors,” and that they “provide for us what is known as ‘the thin blue line’ between a lawful civilized society and lawlessness.”

The resolution leaves no doubt that the Elgin City Council fully supports and endorses the crackdown on freedom of travel and the Fourth Amendment of its citizens. It goes on to state:

 . . . we unequivocally support the way Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office and the Elgin Police Department conduct themselves and their law enforcement activities, with honor and courage, and in particular support their involvement in highway safety checks with the S.C. Highway Patrol . . . in order to reduce DUI and other crimes that might otherwise go undetected.
Hanley, who was evidently more than just concerned about Risvold’s desire to live in a free country, even went so far as to lament the fact that the Elgin City Council could not just remove an elected councilman from his position due to his expressing views that the Mayor does not approve of.  Mayor Hanley did suggest that Risvold step down from his position.

Feel free to contact Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews and express your feelings regarding his new Soviet-style checkpoint program using the contact information listed below. Also, feel free to contact the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce and explain to them that you might rethink any travel plans to Kershaw County as a result of the actions of the Sheriff and local government.

Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce
Fax: 1-803-432-4181
P.O. Box 605
Camden, S.C. 29020
Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Jim Matthews

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