By Jack Minor —
The office of sheriff was created to address worries exactly like the rampant militarization of police forces in America, claim two sheriffs who have challenged elected officials in their states over what they believe are unconstitutional abuses of power.
“Right now the threat to individual Americans from al-Qaida and other groups is nowhere near the threat we face from officials in our own country who are working at taking away our liberties,” Delaware Sheriff Jeff Christopher told WND.
Christopher has firsthand knowledge of the desire of government officials to usurp authority over local law-enforcement agencies.
In 2012, state lawmakers in Delaware – with the support of Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden – pushed through legislation that redefined the duties of sheriffs and their deputies to that of process servers and prisoner transport. The legislation stripped them of all arrest authority to the point where animal control and the game warden had more authority.
Christopher and other supporters of the constitutional role of the sheriff, however, are fighting back.
“The battle of liberty is never over. We are attempting to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot overturning the law stripping us of our arrest authority.”
For Sheriff Christopher, the battle is not just about his personal authority. It goes straight to the heart of concerns many people hold over what is perceived as the increasing militarization of police agencies.
“I believe the intent of taking away the authority of the sheriff,” Christopher said, “is to set up a situation where the state police have the power to enforce unconstitutional legislation while preventing the sheriff from being able to stand against them.”
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