Sheriff’s deputies’ disdain for Constitution captured by their own recorded comments

By DANIEL BLACKBURN

When San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Murphy responded to a “shots fired” call in April 2008, he decided en route that he was going to make an arrest.

He did far more than that. Murphy and other deputies made an unwarranted entry into a home, and then into a locked gun safe. Murphy’s uncensored, darkly disturbing observations and behavior following his Code-3 arrival at the rural home of longtime SLO County resident Matt Hart were picked up by Murphy’s and other deputies’ own recorders. Those recordings provide a rare, frighteningly revealing, behind-the-scenes perspective of how one local law enforcement agency views the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and other laws its personnel are sworn to uphold.

Sheriff’s spinner Rob Bryn declined to confirm the identities of any of the deputies appearing or heard in the recordings, or to discuss any aspect of the Hart home invasion. So we’ve done that for you. (Bryn, ever the public servant, eventually stopped responding to e-mails from a KCCN.tv reporter.)

Deputies’ deportment in the field as exhibited by their own words, as well as their plainly audible efforts to fabricate justifications for their actions, are lamentable. Local county prosecutors’ subsequent abuse of power, wielded in a cavalier, clumsy, and transparent effort to avoid a lawsuit, also is troubling.

But in the larger scheme of things, it is the systematic dismantling of the Fourth Amendment by over-zealous cops and an enabling judiciary that should be a cause of concern for every American citizen. Incredibly, Hart’s case may be less of an anomaly than it appears.

The question is: Should law enforcement officers like Deputy Darren Murphy be allowed to make day-to-day, life-changing decisions regarding the fate of law-abiding citizens?

Watch. Listen. And then you be the judge.

Watch actual video of the incident here.

http://www.kccn.tv/

I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

1 Comment

  1. Tracy

    July 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    As a 17 year veteran police officer I’m disturbed by the actions of these deputies. I have no problem with the initial protective sweep. IE checking for a victim or possibly an armed suspect. However the entry into the safe and the subsequent seizure of property is clearly wrong. The prosecutor would have done well to just dismiss all charges I think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>