When it comes to the police departments being “above the law,” it should come to no surprise that constitutional laws would be included. For the sheriff’s department, of pottawatomie county, Oklahoma, it seems they have gone balistic with violating the rights of citizens.
Over the past several months, we had recieved multiple complaints regarding this department censoring out citizens who speak against them. Many of the contacts simply want to know if they can legally block them. Well, we did the research and concluded the answer to be no. Let’s dive right into it.
We found multiple articles on this very subject, all aiming at different angles. In July of 2019, the second circuit court had ruled that Donald Trump, being an elected official, could not block citizens on his twitter. Doesn’t apply, you say? Actually, it does. Though the situation is slightly different, the ruling is based on the concept that he is a public official. To extend on this, there is also a ruling by the fourth circuit court, stating public officials cannot block citizens on social media.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the sheriff is an elected, public, official. That means that a sheriff falls into this category as well. Because they are the lead for their departments, their departments Social Media pages become a public forum. It also means that, like Donald Trump, blocking citizens is a violation to the first amendment.
When looking into the department itself, we found multiple reviews. The comments ranged from buying alcohol while in uniform, unprofessional behaviors, overly aggressive, and wreckless driving, nearly hitting a woman with child. For us, this only served to validate the fact that this department has some serious problems that are not being addressed.
Regardless of the federal and circuit rulings, this department has only shown a complete disregard for its citizens rights, as well as the federal rulings. Via Facebook and Twitter, we reached out to the department. The Facebook results was that of no comment and me being banned from their page. As of this time, we have gotten no response on Twitter.