CA vice principal claims police illegally arrested him for bringing gun to school
A California school administrator who was arrested last month after bringing a gun to school has sued the city of Bakersfield and its police department.
Kent Williams, vice principal of Tevis Junior High School, claims he was falsely arrested last month after showing officers his valid concealed-carry permit, reported KBAK-TV.
“It was an illegal arrest,” said his attorney, Daniel Rodriguez. “They say, ‘Hey, we get a free pass, because we made a mistake. We were ignorant of the law.’”
Rodriguez said officers seemed hesitant to arrest him until they called a supervisor, who gave the order to arrest him.
“Ignorance of the law is not a defense,” Rodriguez said. “The same goes for the police.”
The 51-year-old Williams, who had been vice principal of the school since 2010, was taken into custody and held several hours, until police could review the California Gun Free Zone Act.
“Me, being a law abiding citizen, that was the first time I had ever been exposed to handcuffs,” Williams said. “I was frightened and scared out of my mind.”
Officers released the administrator after they determined his concealed-carry permit had no restrictions, and prosecutors declined to prosecute him.
His attorney said Williams, who claims he brought the gun to school for unspecified safety reasons, was arrested without probable cause.
Williams was placed on paid administrative leave by Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, which is conducting an internal investigation to determine whether he violated district policies.
Rodriguez indicated the administrator might sue the school district if he is not reinstated.
Watch this video report posted online by KBAK-TV: