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Right-wing sheriff helped deputy cover shooting at in-laws’ by ordering 911 caller’s arrest

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A so-called “constitutional” sheriff helped one of his deputies shield some relatives from blame by approving the arrest of a 911 caller who reported gunfire.

Glenn Palmer, the sheriff in Grant County, Oregon, gained national attention earlier this year for supporting a group of armed militants who took over a nearby wildlife refuge.

One of those militants, Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, was shot and killed while trying to flee a traffic stop for Grant County, where he believed Palmer would protect him from federal and state authorities who were trying to arrest him.

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Palmer is currently under investigation for allegedly tampering with official records, and state officials are also investigating whether he should be allowed to retain his police certification.

Now, a new report by The Oregonian sheds light on an incident from last year that cost the county $12,000 to avoid a lawsuit.

Deputy Zach Mobley responded to a report of shots fired on Jan. 26, 2015, and told 911 dispatchers he knew the residents who lived in an isolated part of the town of John Day.

Jim Koitzsch had called 911 to report gunfire, which another neighbor heard, and said he was nearly shot in the head when he went outside to investigate.

The 57-year-old Koitzsch told Mobley the shots had come from the home of Terry and Leann Coalwell — the deputy’s in-laws.

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Leann Coalwell is the sister of Mobley’s wife, and the deputy called the home on his way to investigate, and his 15-year-old niece said she heard no gunshots.

Mobley went to interview another neighbor after speaking to Koitzsch — but first he called his boss.

The deputy told Palmer that children were home alone at his in-laws’ house, but he said they did not have access to guns because the family kept the weapons locked in a safe.

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His written report did not explain how he knew the guns were locked away at the time of the reported gunfire.

Mobley wrote in his report that the sheriff ordered him to arrest Koitzsch for making a false report.

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“Sheriff Palmer told me to go ahead and arrest Mr. Koitzsch,” Mobley wrote in the incident report. “I told Sheriff Palmer that I was checking with him because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a conflict since the Coalwells are my family.”

Another neighbor and her grandson backed Koitzsch’s claims about gunfire, and the neighbor asked the deputy if he was related to the Coalwell family — and Mobley admitted he was.

“Holy crap,” sad the neighbor, Dorothy Thexton.

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The deputy still arrested Koitzsch on the misdemeanor charge, which carries a possible one-year jail term.

The 911 caller spent one night in jail, but prosecutors dropped the case three days later.

The district attorney admonished the sheriff and Mobley, whom Palmer later promoted to undersheriff, for their actions in the investigation.

The county later paid Koitzsch through its insurance carrier to avoid a lawsuit, and the man’s attorney also rebuked the sheriff and deputy.

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“This incident is the most egregious abuse of power I have ever seen,” said the man’s attorney, Edie Rogoway.

Palmer was named “lawman of the year” in 2012 for Richard Mack’s Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, which promotes the legal fallacy that county sheriffs are the highest law enforcement officers in the United States and authorized to evaluate which laws are constitutional.

Watch raw video of Koitzsch speaking to Mobley posted online by The Oregonian:

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‘There is a better way’: George W Bush breaks his silence to speak out against ‘tragic failures’

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On Tuesday, former President George W. Bush issued a statement on the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing nationwide protests.

"It is time for America to examine our tragic failures — and as we do, we will also see some of our redeeming strengths," wrote Bush. "It remains a shocking failure that many African Americans, especially young African American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country. It is a strength when protesters, protected by responsible law enforcement, march for a better future."

"America's greatest challenge has long been to unite people of very different backgrounds into a single nation of justice and opportunity," wrote Bush. "The doctrine and habits of racial superiority, which once nearly split our country, still threaten our Union ... The heroes of America — from Fredrick Douglass, to Harriet Tubman, to Abraham Lincoln, to Martin Luther King, Jr. — are heroes of unity. Their calling has never been for the fainthearted. They often revealed the nation's disturbing bigotry and exploitation — stains on our character sometimes difficult for the American majority to examine. We can only see the reality of America's need by seeing it through the eyes of the threatened, oppressed, and disenfranchised."

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Horseback riding club rolls into Houston protests to stand in solidarity with protesters

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Horses are raising a hoof to support Black Lives Matter protesters in Houston, Texas Tuesday.

After several nights of protests, an urban trail riding club, Nonstop Riders, joined the efforts

“We’re here representing for all our black brothers and sisters," said Marcus Johnson, sitting atop his horse.

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As the riders fists stretched toward the blue Texas sky, the protest crowd broke into cheers and applause.

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Brianna Noble did the same at the protests Friday, sitting atop Dapper Dan, leading a crowd of protesters.

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False rumors of an antifa invasion are filling up local neighborhood Facebook groups: report

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Unverified rumors about factions of antifa and looters descending on suburban neighborhoods are blowing up in local Facebook groups and neighborhood watch forums around the country, NBC News reports.

"Some of the posts feature a screenshot of a tweet by a fake antifa Twitter account that Twitter said was created by the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, attempting to drum up fear of looting in residential and suburban areas," the reports reads. "The false antifa tweet was boosted in part by Donald Trump Jr., who posted a screenshot of the tweet to his Instagram account. Other rumors falsely warn of antifa members being 'bused in' to towns in Idaho."

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