Denial of speech is tyrannical

Letter to the Editor

I would like to take a moment and address Mrs. Patricia Menough’s letter to the editor from last week’s paper. She stated, “Mr. Martinez is on administrative leave because he did not do the honorable thing and resign his position when he chose to run against the current sheriff.”

You mean honorable like when Deputy Giddings did not resign his position when he chose to run against Sheriff Dasenbrock in 2008? Maybe some research and better knowledge of candidates would show you Mr. Martinez is, and always has been, a staunch supporter and defender of your constitutional rights and freedoms, especially your Second Amendment rights and keeping state and federal agencies out of local issues.

A constitutional sheriff does not infringe on constitutional rights. He does not pick and choose what rights to defend. Attempting to punish or dismiss sheriff’s office employees or employees of other law enforcement agencies for political activity in their off duty time is infringement of their right to free speech. Yes, they are law enforcement officers on and off duty, but what they do in their free time is their business as long as it is legal, moral, or ethical. The denial of free speech to local law enforcement is definitely not constitutional, it is oppressive and tyrannical.

I am sickened by the would be denial of free speech and am offended to think our law enforcement should be muzzled while off duty. I did not spend 24 years in the US Army and I certainly did not waste my blood and sweat in the desert of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to sit idly by and watch the right to free speech taken away from our local police.

Listen to what was said at the Grangeville City Council meeting on Oct. 3, the recordings are on the Idaho County Free Press’ webpage.

Suggestion of denial or suppression of free speech is unacceptable, especially when the Idaho Policing Policy, adopted by the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office on March 1st, 2016, states, “All agency employees, while off duty and not in uniform, are permitted to engage in any lawful political activity.”

Tim Sokolowski

Kamiah

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