Call to Action, and Change in Timing

The Tidewater Libertarian Party has authorized me to address the Chesapeake City Council to request a Citizen Review of police procedures in the incident leading to the death of Detective Jarod Shivers and the subsequent trial of Ryan Frederick.

It was originally planned that our request would be delivered at the February 17, 2009 meeting, but I have learned that citizen comments are allowed only on agenda items at third Tuesday meetings. So, our request will have to wait until the February 24, 2009 meeting. If we hope to have the City Council act on our request, it will be important that we have a large turnout of support at the meeting. Please plan to attend on February 24th. You need not speak, but I may call on supporters of the request to stand in a show of support.

We will make the following request:

In the months since the tragic death of Det. Jarrod Shivers in the course of serving a search warrant at the home of Ryan Frederick, many questions have arisen regarding procedures of the Chesapeake Police Department. These questions have gone unanswered by the department. The Tidewater Libertarian Party asserts that because all powers granted government to use force on the behalf of the people reside ultimately with the people, it is unacceptable for the agents of government force, the police, to deny the people explanations for their actions when there are legitimate questions as to whether that force has been used with due caution and within the powers granted by the people through our Constitution and law.

In particular, we are concerned about the following issues:

  • The tragic and avoidable death of a law enforcement officer.
  • The use of Confidential Informants is an unfortunate necessity in criminal investigations, and particularly so in drug cases, but we question whether it is good public policy to request or issue search warrants based on the unsupported and unsworn allegations of Confidential Informants without some corroboration through independent investigation.
  • Forcible entries in serving search warrants are acceptable police practice only when there is evidence subject to rapid destruction, hostages are in peril, or known, armed, and dangerous criminals are judged to be most safely taken by surprise. The recent trial of Chesapeake resident Ryan Frederick has revealed such forced entries to be the standard practice in serving all drug search warrants in Chesapeake. The Chesapeake Police Department has provided no acceptable explanation for choosing an exceptionally dangerous method of serving a warrant on a citizen with no criminal record over numerous safer and more Constitutionally acceptable methods.
  • We are further concerned by the lack of transparency and consistency on the part of the Chesapeake Police leadership regarding what policy changes might be made to avoid future tragedy. Because we believe the police have taken the position that they need not explain their actions to the public, we hold this that is unacceptable in a free society.

This is the City of Chesapeake, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States of America. The police are answerable to the people, not only to themselves. Our military and our police are subject to civilian control and review. Citizens are owed the truth. The proper first level of that oversight is through our local elected representatives on city council.

We understand that it may be necessary to withhold some tactical policy from the public at large for the protection of police officers, but what information can and cannot be made public is properly the choice of civilian authority, with expert guidance, and not that of those being overseen.

The Tidewater Libertarian Party therefore requests the City of Chesapeake establish a citizen review board consisting of trustworthy citizens chosen by council, but with no connection to the Police Department or city government, to investigate this matter. This citizen review board should have full access to all evidence, record, reviews, and testimony, and report to the City Council, and ultimately, with council approval of sensitive content, to the public, in order to restore the lost trust of the citizens in our police department and to ensure that our police officers and citizens are no longer placed in unnecessary danger.

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18 Responses to Call to Action, and Change in Timing

  1. John Lilburne says:

    The statement “issued” by the TLP was not approved by it’s members. Only a select few were consulted in an unofficial capacity AFTER official business had ceased. Those disagreeing with the position of Dr. Tabor were cut out of the e-mail loop and not CC’d anymore. The statement can not be said to have been made in a manner representative of Tidewater Libertarian Party members.

    For being part of the Libertarian Party, the Tidewater Libertarian Party surely does not operate in a libertarian manner.

  2. John Lilburne says:

    Add to the above that Dr. Tabor stated his reason for the above statement was not to actually institute a citizen’s review board; he stated that a review board might come to a different conclusion than the one we wanted; but to “make a statement.”

    • Don Tabor says:

      Sigh….. I guess there’s always one who can’t handle not getting his way.

      To set the record straight, the proposal was presented to all members present at our first February meeting. As we had a guest speaker waiting, it was suggested that the final wording be determined by the executive board after the meeting. There were no dissenting votes.

      After the meeting, board members worked on the wording, and a number of non-board members attended, which, as is our practice, was OK, we do not meet in secret. The board agreed on a draft with further suggestions by board members due by email by the end of the day. No comments were received in that time period.

      The next day, a totally new, proposal was sent by a non board member which was contrary to the intent of the original. No board members endorsed the change. The proposal, as of its latest approved version was published Sunday. After publication, an email was received from our membership chair suggesting some changes in wording, which will be incorporated into the presentation next Tuesday though they were too late for the post to the blog.

      When asked at the meeting if I thought that the Chesapeake City Council would act on our proposal, I did say I doubted they would, but that we should take a stand on the issue whether they acted on it or not. It remains my hope, if not my expectation, that the City Council will take the proper action.

      One of the problems with leadership positions in Libertarian organizations is that it can be a great deal like herding cats. Too often, when members do not get their way, they are unwilling to accept the consensus of the members. The wording of our statement probably doesn’t exactly please everyone. There are things I would have liked to say differently myself, but the document as published is an accurate statement of the consensus of the executive board as authorized by the members present at the meeting.

      You can’t please everyone if they are unwilling to compromise.

  3. John Wilburn says:

    Mr. Lilburne,

    What is it exactly, that you’re trying to say? Are you planning to stand next to Dr. Tabor, when he meets with the Chesapeake City Council? Yes? Then state your position…

    No? Why not? Do you think you’re in a position, and entitled, to criticize, when you’re not willing to participate? Is this the, “Libertarian Manner” that you speak of?

    By all means, Mr. Lilburne, express yourself – we’re listening…

  4. Mr. Lilburne,

    As I recall, this issue was voted upon, and approved months ago, in an open meeting. But they also decided back then to wait until the trial was over. I was disappointed at the time that the TLP decided to wait. Perhaps the discussion you speak of that took place informally, after official business, is what took place at the meeting you attended. But if it did, it would have been to finalize some details.

    I remember taking a couple Saturdays off work last year to attend meetings where this was discussed and voted upon. I’m fully aware of the text, or at least most of it, being drafted months ago, and discussed openly.

    I won’t call you a liar, and I won’t doubt that you saw what you say you saw, at one particualr meeting. But other things happened as well, and your view of one meeting mischaracterizes the totality of the discussion that has taken place over the last year.

  5. John Lilburne says:

    The proposal put forth was by the representative from the Youth Committee (the Tidewater Young Libertarians)which is a board position.

    • Don Tabor says:

      From the bylaws:

      The officers of the TLP shall be a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers constitute the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee and all Standing Committee chairpersons shall constitute the TLP Board.

      and:

      Article IX: Committees

      The TLP shall recognize two distinct types of committees; standing committees and special (ad hoc) committees.

      9.1 Standing Committees
      The TLP bylaws make provision for two standing committees; the membership committee and the website management committee. The TLP Board may, at its discretion, form additional standing committees as deemed necessary to accomplish the objectives of the TLP. Members of standing committees shall be appointed by the TLP Board unless otherwise specified.

      It is certainly possible that a Youth Committee was established as a Standing, as opposed to Special, committee at some meeting that I did not attend, but I am not aware of that having been done.

      Even so, that would still be only one vote with no other support from any other board member.

  6. John Lilburne says:

    Tabor is a Treasurer. Nothing more. He is NOT the PAO. He is doing this as a self-serving publicity stunt. We warned him that it would negatively effect our party image and he did not care. The Tidewater Young Libertarians (the Youth Committee of the TLP) will discuss tonight a proposal for an accountment of Tabor’s actions surrounding the proposal in addition to a full investigation of finances within the TLP.

    Additionally, the Chair and Vice Chair of the TLP expressed frustration with Dr. Tabor and supported the briefer statement. An unconvenient fact Tabor chose to ignore at the meeting.

  7. John Lilburne says:

    4.2.2 Meetings by E-Mail & Message Board
    The board may meet via e-mail or message board. E-mail and message board meetings shall be called to order by an e-mail message or post from the chair calling the meeting to order and setting the length of time of discussion.

    Members shall be considered present when they respond to the chair’s initial message. A quorum shall be established if the appropriate number of members have commented or responded over the course of discussion.

    As message boards and e-mail correspondence are significantly different mediums, multiple motions may be considered simultaneously.

    A meeting by message board or by e-mail shall have a discussion time of no less than 48 hours and no greater than one week. Electronic meetings shall be concluded before the next general or board meeting.
    ————————————————-

    Reid did not send out an e-mail to initiate official Party business via e-mail. No quorom was called for via e-mail. The persons selected for participation were done so selectively and not for the entire TLP.

    ———————————————-

    4.2.6 Integrity of Meeting Provision
    Should a TLP Board member believe that the integrity of an electronic medium has been compromised, the member may demand that business cease immediately. The board shall convene through alternate means to determine whether the medium was in fact compromised. Should the board determine that the integrity of the medium was, in fact, compromised, any motions passed during that meeting shall be invalid.
    ——————————————–
    A motion will be put discussed with the TYL tonight to put forth a motion before the TLP of a provision 4.3.6.

    Perhaps Tabor should study Article 2 Section 3 and Article 3 Section 5 of the TLP BY-Laws in preperation for the next business meeting taking place this Saturday.

    • Don Tabor says:

      This is getting tiring and divisive, but since all of our business is conducted in full daylight, I will not censor any of this.

      If as you point out:

      Reid did not send out an e-mail to initiate official Party business via e-mail. No quorom was called for via e-mail. The persons selected for participation were done so selectively and not for the entire TLP.

      then the form of the proposal as it stood at the end of the physical board meeting held after the main meeting adjourned would, in fact, be the final approved version, would it not?

      That is the version which was published. Other than the Youth Chair’s contrary proposal, which received no support, there were no comments received prior to posting. The membership chair’s suggestions were received late but will be incorporated into my presentation to the council.

      The revised document and request for further comment was emailed to the chair, vice chair, secretary, membership chair, youth committee chair (at his request) and communications director as well as myself as treasurer. I should have sent it to the Webmaster as well, but missed that one. It was also sent to John Wilburn who attended all of the trial and kept careful notes as a check for any inaccuracies he might detect.

      So, other than the Webmaster, everyone on the board (if, indeed, youth committee chair is now a board position) was included.

      I’m curious, what evil, self serving motive am I supposedly pursuing? Do I get a commission on LEGAL searches or a bonus in those years when neither police nor citizens kill each other?

      What happened here is that the Youth Committee chair, after the board labored and negotiated a final version at the meeting, belatedly decided he wanted an entirely different approach, emailed it to everyone included in the invitation to comment, and received no support. Now, after our intentions have been published, he wants to undermine the consensus of the board for reasons I will not speculate upon.

      You just don’t always get your way.

  8. John Lilburne says:

    correction “of a provision 4.2.6.”*

  9. L. Nelson says:

    If this is just a stunt be Dr. Tabor, where is the statements from the other board members stating that they do not support this action? Just curious.

  10. Britt Howard says:

    Let me first state that I am no longer a board member. In years 2007 & 2008 I held the position of Secretary. I stepped down and did not seek another term because I felt that I was too involved with the Moss for Mayor campaign and I have gotten a better shift doing Quality Assurance at work but, it requires me to work some Saturday mornings. In the future I may have to use vacation time to attend important meetings. I also wanted to get more involved with getting people elected. John Moss is a Republican but, pretty darn grounded in many libertarian principles. This brings me to another point, Dr. Don Tabor and respect.

    I was also active in the Tabor for State Senate campaign in which Dr. Tabor got close to 30% as a Libertarian against an entrenched Republican State Senator Harry Blevins. In year 2008, our simple book keeper Don, was the TLP Chairman. Prior to that he was “just a treasurer”. You may name call and allege that Don is merely a Treasurer all you want. The fact is that he is a long time TLP member and put his life on hold on more than one occasion to further the local libertarian movement. Don is very passionate about this case. It is a classic case stuffed with issues regarding civil liberties. I am glad we have him.

    As Secretary for 2008, I can tell you that action was voted on long ago. Many actions were approved but, put on hold. Sometimes the TLP held back at the request of counsel for Ryan Frederick. This was particularly the case when motions for moving the case out of Chesapeake were being considered.

    I can also tell you that it has been long historically true that actions are often approved and the person/persons in charge of executing said actions often conduct business outside of formal meetings. Persons executing party business do not have to have prior approval of what road they drive down, what food they are allowed to eat, or exact wording of press releases to forward back to the boards for further approval. In some instances meetings approved actions in which something would be written and then sent to the Communications Director for review and comment. In other words, prior approval was granted often times under certain conditions.

    We at the TLP realize that those passionate about actually doing something to preserve liberty are at a premium. We also realize that being tied to inaction by byzantine over-regulation of actions will bring about NO positive change. We have seen victims of that at state party level. We don’t argue about the placement of commas and semi-colons hours at a time.

    Would I have written it a little differently? Yes. However, I approved on the basics. An addition of inserting wording expressing the TLP concern for lives of our LE officers was added when I simply suggested I would have preferred that. Tabor agreed and just added it in. I’m not even a board member any longer and my opinion was listened to.

    The request for a citizen review board is one I whole heartedly agree with. The document is well written and expresses a consensus of TLP opinion. It is not a perfect draft but, it is a good one. As Dr. Tabor is often quoting,”Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good.”

    As for this being a “self-serving publicity stunt” and he not caring about party image, I couldn’t disagree more strongly. We all are nervous about this. There are many that want to take a cautious approach. Risk is always scary. I personally, certainly do NOT want to be seen as an enemy to Law Enforcement. I support them. They are a necessity to serving the purpose of government. That purpose: To protect the individual from force and fraud. That said, too much is at stake. We have felt for a long time that something had to be said concerning this case.

    At this point, I am no longer a board member and merely a member. However, I do strongly support Dr. Tabor and his efforts. I appreciate all that he does for the TLP and freedom in general. I find the “self-serving publicity stunt” allegation to be regrettable. Dr. Tabor deserves better.

  11. Petey Browder says:

    Dr. Tabor is representing liberty and justice for all, something that seems to be slipping way from Americans. Therefore, I might suggest you thank Dr. Tabor for taking his precious time to help ensure and secure your rights and freedom. What happens when the police obtain yet another search warrant based on the unsupported and unsworn allegations of a confidential Informant? What happens when the police come to your neighbors’ door or yours?

    Furthermore, your comments are unsubstantiated and just plain wrong.

    “Additionally, the Chair and Vice Chair of the TLP expressed frustration with Dr. Tabor and supported the briefer statement. An unconvenient fact Tabor chose to ignore at the meeting.~”

    I attended the meeting and I did not feel as if the Chair or Vice Chair expressed frustration towards Dr. Tabor; it is called having an intelligent discussion. Moreover, I saw no support towards a more brief statement.

    “The proposal put forth was by the representative from the Youth Committee (the Tidewater Young Libertarians)which is a board position”.

    In no way, shape or form is a representative from the Youth Committee (TYL) a board position of the Tidewater Libertarian Party.

    Article III: Officers, Elections, Duties, Vacancies

    The officers of the TLP shall be a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers constitute the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee and all Standing Committee chairpersons shall constitute the TLP Board.

  12. I guess the boys and I will have to go to the City Council meeting and support Dr. Tabor.

    The Chesapeake PD screwed this one, I mean really screwed it. A citizen review board should be welcomed by the PD, but I dare venture this will not be the case.

    My boys are an open carried Sig 229 and a slung Mossberg 500 with all the goodies.

    Live Free or Die

    • Don Tabor says:

      I do not make a practice of telling anyone what to do, but please keep in mind that this is not a 2nd Amendment rights demonstration, it is a reminder to our local government of the proper relationship between citizens, government and police.

      So, it is not to our advantage to distract from that message with excessive displays of arms. I would suggest that though open and concealed carry are legal at the council chambers just as any other public place, that we leave our long guns, flamethrowers and crew served weapons at home.

  13. Chad P says:

    Ladies & Gentlemen,

    I should not have to point this out, but airing these grievances in public is… to put it mildly… unprofessional.

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