Law enforcement is a sensitive bunch. Apparently being told “Hey, don’t kill us,” just gets them in their feelings, so much so that an employee at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office in California was arrested for vandalizing a Black Lives Matter sign.
NBC News reports that a homeowner in Thousand Oaks, Calif, has repeatedly had a tarp placed on the fence in front of their home with the letters “BLM” vandalized. After placing a surveillance camera on top of the fence, footage revealed that Darrin Stone, a 60-year-old employee with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and Craig Anderson, a 59-year-old investigative assistant with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office were partially responsible for the vandalism. A third man, 58-year-old John Moore was also identified as vandalizing the sign.
From NBC News:
The sheriff’s office said it recognized one of its employees, Stone, 60, in footage the owner posted online of a man ripping through the sign with a knife on June 13 and June 19 and initiated a criminal investigation. Stone was off duty at the time of both incidents.
Sheriff Bill Ayub said in a statement, “I’m deeply disappointed that one of our employees involved himself in this type of illegal activity, especially when this is an infringement on someone’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech.”
The sheriff said that his department “will not tolerate unlawful or unethical behavior.”
“We hold our employees to the highest standards, and there will be consequences for this,” he said.
Stone has worked with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years, most recently as a service technician at the Ventura Pre-Trial Detention Facility. Anderson worked with the District Attorney’s officer for four months before resigning. Both men were arrested and charged with misdemeanor vandalism. Due to Anderson’s status as a former employee, his case will be overseen by the state Attorney General’s office.
For a group of people who’ve spent the month being pressed about property damage, they sure seem OK with destroying property in order to prove their point.