There is nothing like waking up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep and deciding to come play on the computer, only to log into your blog and find a message from “Anonymous” attempting to cause problems. I won’t repeat everything this charming piece of work said, but I will repeat one part and then address the topic. I was considering doing a blog about this anyhow and now, I actually have a reason.
Let me cut and paste the main part of this message: “How come you hadn’t said nothing yet about your precious Sheriff Kersey and his deputy cussing that man out? If Shep was still Sheriff, you be posting all sorts of stuff blaming him for everything, but Kersey taking over and you ain’t saying nothing now!” Then the message went on to talk about how racist I supposedly am against blacks, how I only opposed Shep Jones because he’s black and threw in a few more names and insults for good measure. At first, I was just going to ignore this, but there are so many things to say here so instead of biting my tongue and being the better man, I’ve instead decided to make a response. My only problem is where to start.
Let’s begin with the simpliest part. I haven’t said anything about Sheriff-Elect Kersey and “his deputy” because Deputy Blalock is NOT Kersey’s deputy yet. Sheriff-Elect Kersey won’t be sworn into office until Monday, I believe, which means that Shep Jones IS still the Sheriff and in power until then. That makes the deputy in question, David Blalock, a deputy under the watch and control of Shep Jones until Ralph is sworn in. As this happened this past weekend, it happened under Jones’ watch as Sheriff and that makes it Jones’ responsibility. It’s just that simple. But of course, Jones has already commented in the paper that he is passing the buck and not going to take responsibility or action, instead allowing Kersey that responsibility instead. Mighty big of him, don’t you think. Jones IS the current Sheriff and this incident in question happened under HIS watch so HE should be the one handling things. But I have no doubt that Kersey will handle the matter in an appropiate way and if he doesn’t, he will be called out on it, just as Jones’ would be.
As for the situation itself, I may as well address it while it’s on my mind. I’ve watched the video and listened to it many times. And quite simply, Deputy Blalock WAS out of line and his language and behavior was extremely inappropiate. Was it bad enough to cost him his job? Well, based on my own personal experience, I would say yes. Dealing with the public is hard sometimes and sometimes, it gets overwhelming and you snap. Been there and done that and when the smoke cleared, I was unemployed and lost my job as a result. And the words that cost me my job weren’t nearly as bad as what Blalock was saying to that bondsman. The bottom line, in my opinion, is that Blalock is a representative of our local law enforcement and like it or not, is expected to act and behave in a certain way. Is it a higher standard than the rest of us. Yes, it is. But that’s part of the job and if he’s not capable of controlling his temper or being professional in his words or manner, he doesn’t need to be doing that job.
I do think that Blalock needs to be shown that for every action, there are consequences. What those consequences will be, who knows? I do expect that Sheriff Kersey will investigate the matter and act accordingly, be it termination, suspension or simply a write-up of some kind and firm warning that if anything like this incident happens again, termination will follow. We’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.
As for the other charges that “Anonymous” decided to level against me, let me tackle those now one by one.
On the idea that with Kersey as the Sheriff, I won’t be saying anything, that is totally wrong. I know Sheriff-Elect Kersey and know that he’s an honest and straight up guy who means what he says and says what he means. But that doesn’t mean that he’ll be getting a free pass on anything and I know that he doesn’t expect to. If cars start magically appearing out of nowhere, if a slush fund is discovered and money is used for parties, alcohol and jewelry, if murder cases are going unsolved due to errors in the police reports or to the media, if people inside the jail are getting killed, if jailers start getting busted for drug possession, if Sweepstakes businesses are raided and machines are confiscated, yet no charges are ever pressed, etc… if the crap we’ve dealt with regularly for the past eight years continues to happen under Kersey’s watch, I’ll be just as quick to call him out on those things as I was with Shep. I don’t think we’ll have those kind of problems to worry about anymore though.
And as for the “racist” argument, that’s a load of crap. Anyone who knows me or has known me for any length of time will tell you that the only way I judge people is pretty simple. If you’re cool and respectful to me, I’ll be cool and respectful to you. And if you’re an ass-clown in any way, shape, form, etc… I have little use for you and respond in kind. Pretty simple, right. And I guess I can use the old “I have black friends” argument too, but there’s a twist. I have friends – some just happen to be black. Some are white. Some are indian. There are also some Korean, Japanese, Canadian, British and Australian folks that I’m friendly with. Some are males and some are female. Some are straight and some are gay. Some are Christian, some are Muslim, some are Jewish, one is Hindu and I believe a couple are athiests. And I even have a midget friend that I talk to semi-regularly. I don’t give a damn about race, religion, social-status, money, gender, sexual orientation, etc. If I like you, I like you and if I don’t, I don’t. I’m not the most sociable or lovable person in the world sometimes and I do have my issues with people, but the color of someone’s skin doesn’t matter. It’s the behavior and character that counts and if that’s a problem, get the hell over it. ‘Nuff said!
And now, with that being said, I think it’s time to (finally) try to go get a few hours of sleep. Oh wait, I do have one more thing.
In July, a task force led by District Attorney Kristy Newton and other law enforcement officers forced the closing of twenty-one Internet Sweepstakes businesses, putting over a hundred people out of work. One of the businesses that did NOT close willingly was the Cyber Sweepstakes business on Academy Road. The Task Force took it upon themselves to raid the building, confiscate computers and shut the business down. And despite the confiscation of machinery and equipment (I call it stealing), NO charges were ever brought against the owner of the business, Robert Outlaw. In the middle of September, Outlaw, with court documents in hand signed off on by a sitting District Judge, reopened his business. The paperwork, which has been signed off on by Judge Regina Joe, says that the computer software used by Outlaw in his business is LEGAL and in compliance with current state gaming laws. A judge says that Outlaw’s Internet Sweepstakes business IS LEGAL!! Days later, a Swat Team force of Scotland County Sheriff Department deputies, under the leadership of Sheriff Shep Jones and District Attorney Kristy Newton, raided and closed the business. Machines were confiscated (stolen) and the business was shut down once more. And again, NO CHARGES have ever been processed and brought against Mr. Outlaw. So when will Mr. Outlaw have the opportunity and chance to have his constitutionally demanded day in court? What kind of games are Shep Jones and Kristy Newton playing here? When will they DO THEIR JOBS and FOLLOW THE LAW? Sheriff Shep Jones needs to go ahead and either explain to the community why he’s allowed this miscarriage of justice to go on so long OR go ahead and press charges, thus allowing the Sweepstakes owners their day in court. Time is running out and Jones needs to do the right thing here and let our legal justice system do it’s job. If he can’t or won’t, then District Attorney Newton needs to either file charges and let the system work or make a public statement explaining why she’s denying the sweepstakes owners their rights? We, the citizens of Scotland County, deserve to know.
And now, with that being said, I’m going to bed. Have a good night (or morning).