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Restrained woman jumps from moving ambulance

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A moving ambulance is not a Japanese bullet train; it does have brakes, door locks and restraints.


Troup, TX:

Media coverage in Cherokee County is a mixture of bald-face lies, propaganda, innuendo, and illogical fiction. A recently polished article highlights the tragedy of a 36-year old alleged “mentally disturbed” woman from Troup, TX who died several weeks ago while being transported for observation after Cherokee County sheriff deputies were dispatched. It took a few days for them to get their stories straight, but here’s the one they are running with. The article “Troup woman dies after jumping from ambulance” is the perfect example of deliberate misdirection used to hide unlikely storylines. They even bury the obvious facts that would shed light on Cherokee County EMS transport procedures during non-life threatening situations and non-emergencies.


(Courtesy: Tyler Paper)

According to the Tyler Paper, Crystal Delaune died on August 19, 2012 after jumping from a moving ETMC ambulance and landing in the middle of US 69 south of Jacksonville, TX.  (Source: Tyler Paper, August 28, 2012) Delaune had reportedly show signs of delusion and was being transported by stretcher to Mother Frances Jacksonville when she removed her restraints, unlocked the doors, and jumped according to Cherokee County paramedics. She had attempted to flee the ambulance at the scene and again in route when CCSO dispatch was notified, then told to disregard. On the final attempt, Delaune jumped from her stretcher and exited through the rear door while in route. (Source: CBS 19)


Paramedics described how they tried to grab her before jumping from the moving vehicle; apparently the brakes were stuck and the power locks inaccessible. It would be ridiculous for EMTs to pull off on the side of the highway and gain control of a 120 lbs. woman. Instead the collective story for public consumption is akin to a scene from the Runaway Train movie “Unstoppable“- both as realistic and well-acted as the other. Apparently it does not occur to Cherokee County readers that an ambulance is capable of driving slowly on the shoulder instead of throwing patients out the back door.


Written by Cherokee County, Texas

09/22/2012 at 6:15 AM

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Monitoring the county for more than drugs; Improprieties belay Fox sentencing

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Unathorized interception at the telecom companies and illegal party lines.

Podunk law enforcement and prosecutors share the limelight with Federal investigators during politically timed drug raids. The only investigative skill required to bust local drug dealers and small town gangbangers is the illegal interception of phone conversations. Problem is, the spying has been going on for so many decades with the blessing of partnered East Texas agencies, that the monitoring goes beyond the local meth house. These agencies don’t ask for disclosure or sources, but they do offer a carrot to counties willing to intercept people’s phone calls. No warrants are needed either to eavesdrop on political opponents and the lay population. The criminal activity is justified in their over-inflated drug busts portrayed as something significant.

Drug dealers are caught in Cherokee County because they talk about it on the phone. Local gas stations, hotels, rest areas, places and persons of interest are hard wired for county law enforcements’ listening pleasure. For long term monitoring, they recruit their family and friends to spy on their neighbors. Investigators move in and out of retirement providing dirt for political rivals’ personal vendettas. Cherokee County has been caught several times in the past per court documents, remands and injuctions, but under their jurisdictional policing agreements, the bottom of the totem pole is required to initiate the illegal phone taps. It may be a good way to clear out the rural drug dealers operating in East Texas, but the interception of regular folks’ business calls, personal emails, and private conversations is the real gold mine to these corrupt agencies. And make no mistake about it; FBI agents who get their tips from a Cherokee County lawman knows exactly where it is coming from. They are too lazy to do their own leg work, or follow up on what the counties tape record. They call it “cooperation.”

How do they get away with it?

As blatant Cherokee County corruption is discussed on the Internet news feeds, radio talk shows, and by concerned citizens, this underlying question is bantered about. How can Cherokee County prosecutors repeat in open court the information they obtained from a private phone conversaton? Those in Cherokee County’s crosshairs such as Robert Fox, formerly of Jacksonville, TX, and Randall Kelton of Austin’s Rule of Law radio have experienced it first hand, while outsiders are left to speculate. The answer is as relevant today as it was 30 and 40 years ago because the same Good Ol’ Boy “investigative” network is in place operating at full steam, even in the age of cell phones and Wi-Fi. They get away with violating constitutional privacy laws because when the issue is raised in the appellate and federal courts, homegrown judges kill the complaints before they see the light of day. Tyler’s 12th Court of Appeals labels the concern of illegal wire taps as a “non argument,” by skirting the issue as a federal question. Federal justices in turn summarily dismiss basic constitutional privacy questions in their own jurisdictions. That is the reason why the local postal services are compromised and mail is rifled through by the Sheriff departments, while personal phone calls are played for district attorneys, judges and the law firms they work for. It goes on at every level of Cherokee County’s daily operations and as a function of their job security. If the local media started reporting about hometown corruption going on under our noses, their own personal dirty laundry would be aired by county officials.

In April 2012, Robert Fox of the House of Israel was found guilty of “tampering with a government record.” (Source: Daily Progress, April 27, 2012)  A previous mistrial was declared in June 2011 (Source: Daily Progress, June 2, 2011) and earlier this spring Cherokee County prosecutors moved quietly forward for a retrial after answering Fox’s federal complaints. Fox’s sentencing has been delayed while administrative judges in the region hear his Motions to overturn this year’s legal debacle. Four months have passed since a Cherokee County jury of kissin’ cousins decided a letter Fox mailed to the City of Jacksonville Risk Management was a State felony offense, for threatening to sue them all in court for the multiple illegal raids on his property. Not to mention keeping him in the Rusk, TX jail for 146 days without bail on meritless charges, eight of which were eventually dismissed and one resulting in a Not Guilty verdict. (Source: Daily Progress, July 31, 2009) District Attorney Elmer Beckworth has decided that he alone has jurisdiction over what documents are presented and their content in Cherokee County. (Source: Tyler Paper, April 28, 2012) Especially when Beckworth, the City of Jacksonville, and Sheriff Department were forced to answer Robert Fox’s claims in federal court. (Source: Fox vs. City of Jacksonville, et al Case no. 2:2010cv00158)  In any other county this official retaliation would be grounds for immediate disbarment.

The impetus of Robert Fox’s latest legal quandary is the fact that presiding 2nd Judicial District Judge Dwight Phifer officiated a wedding held for a ‘no show’ witness who Cherokee County refused to subpoena. The same witness was made available when a traveling judge from Longview held court in the 2nd Judicial District. Regional administrative judges will be deciding if a fixed jury, lying prosecutor, and district judge who refuses to recuse himself is grounds for remand. Fox’s next scheduled hearing on the matter is on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at the Rusk, TX courthouse. The timing of Fox’s Conflict of Interest motions  (and legal diatribes) have been repeatedly postponed while his case remains in unprecedented limbo. Local media has been invited to cover the circus, however it is doubtful they would report a decision to throw out a case of official repression they have been cheerleading.

When Cherokee County institutions fail and go under (such as Lon Morris College’s recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy), the reality of the situation is buried by the local media and replaced with rose colored stories of how wonderful their little community is. When drug informants kill their spouses and DPS troopers under the district attorney fund; when teachers are caught with child porn and black people profiled and beaten; when attorneys get DWIs and veteran employees are caught embezzling; when commissioners bulldoze their private property and police rape and kill- well, those news stories don’t seem to make it to the Letters to the Editor section. Blatant criminal activity of their officials is justified by piling on the shit smear campaigns; it makes the blatant violation of the US Constitution more palatable.

Translation: “We violate the law in order to do what is best for our little communities, our families, and ourselves.”

Cherokee County’s willingness to illegally intercept private communications keeps it on the map and an asset to corrupt neighboring law enforcement vying for the trickle of federal drug enforcement monies. These areas have a Zero Tolerance for privacy and even less for the rule of law.



Written by Cherokee County, Texas

08/19/2012 at 6:00 PM

Smith County judge declares Cherokee County “corrupt”

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Smith County Judge: Dallas County Incompetent, Cherokee County Corrupt

By: Matthew Bailey – Wednesday, June 27th, 2012


Tyler, Texas – Smith County Judge the Honorable Randall Lee Rogers made statements [while] on the courts bench while in session that two counties in the North/East Texas area are incompetent and/or corrupt.

Although the good judge didn’t go into much detail to the reasons to why he felt this way, by listening to his expression on the matter, you could tell he had a knowledge of something that would make him say that about another county. Judge Roger however gave an explanation that he would not do business with Dallas or Cherokee counties from with-in his jurisdiction/court on legal issues.

Dallas and Cherokee may have corruption and incompetency issue that should be resolved and it is brave for Judge Rogers to even make statements about it. Coming from a Judge that could arrest and jail anyone for lying, you can pretty much bet when he says something it is true. So if Mr. Rogers says Dallas County is incompetent and Cherokee County is corrupt, it is believable.

Why is [it] good that the Honorable Randall Lee Rogers said something? Maybe in some way it will blow the whistle on some bad stuff that goes on in those counties. Of course it may just be his opinion that these two counties are in such shape but what would make the Judge react toward them in this manner? Past experiences perhaps.


Tylerites, or Smith Countyites should feel proud to know that their judge holds values enough to speak up when he sees something going on wrong. [Too]  many times [do] we hear about [a] someone who does something wrong and never one who is the fight for right. Thanks for looking out for us Judge, however you do it.

[courtesy Newsspoiler.com]

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

07/04/2012 at 9:05 AM

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District Judge officiates wedding for Robert Fox witness

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Sentencing delayed in Robert Fox “tampering with a government record” re-trial.

Robert Fox and his defense attorney have filed a motion to remove 2nd Judicial District Judge Dwight Phifer due to conflicts of interest. Judge Phifer officiated the wedding for the son of one of Fox’s witnesses, who the district court and Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department refused to subpoena. The April 2011 marriage ceremony took place in a Jacksonville restaurant owned by the individual Fox claims was the impetus for the multiple SWAT-style raids on the House of Israel. During his original trial in 2011, Fox had made multiple attempts to serve the Jacksonville resident named in his Civil Tort Action, but was told she was “unavailable” by the district court. He attempted again this year to call her to the re-trial, only to have his requests denied. Now we know why.

Fox was found guilty of state tampering at his April 2012 re-trial. (Source: Daily Progress) His sentencing has been postponed as Administrative Judge John Ovard reviews his Motion to Recuse. Cherokee County’s ingrained pattern of duplicitous behavior by judges and prosecutors is only the tip of the iceberg of the absolute familial corruption running the place. The Cherokee County District Attorney, Sheriff and District Judges have worked together to hide Robert Fox’s key witnesses in attempts to keep their collective involvement off the record.

Robert Fox and his attorneys had made multiple requests to call local witnesses, only to be stifled by Cherokee County law enforcement who refused to serve subpoenas.

Barratry and bilge.

Robert Fox was arrested three times in 2008 after multiple raids on the House of Israel property in downtown Jacksonville, TX. He was charged with possession of control substances and two counts of barratry (litigation for harassment) in escalating attempts to incarcerate him after he filed an Intent to Sue against the Jacksonville Police Department. Jacksonville detective Jason Price, who headed the multiple raids and press conferences, told those willing to listen that Fox was a dangerous fugitive with ties to Timothy McVeigh and the Taliban.

“During the last few months we have been continuing the investigation, shoring up the case against him and getting it ready for prosecution. I’m confident that we have a grade-A case against him at this point, with some teeth and a lot of meat to it,” Price said. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress, Dec. 29, 2008)

All alleged barratry charges against Fox were dismissed by the same administrative judge hearing his latest Motions, and Fox was found Not Guilty of possession of expired dental products. Despite the waste of taxpayer time, money and effort to frame Fox, the Cherokee County District Attorney charged him with “tampering with a government record” for filing a Civil Complaint heard on the federal US Eastern District docket — a complaint that the District Attorney and others were forced to answer to. As they have collectively dragged out for years these bogus cases against Robert Fox, they have all mingled with local witnesses and planted the jury panels with their in-laws.

That is your tax dollars hard at work, Cherokee County.

Incumbent District Attorney gets less than 2% of vote in primary

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Cherokee County, TX election officials and newspapers hide primary election results going back to 2010. (Source: Cherokee County election department)  They don’t want the public to know, for example, that voters distrust their district attorney Elmer Beckworth so much that less than 500 people out of 26,552 registered voters actually vote for him during election cycles. Beckworth is running unopposed on the Democrat ticket for his 4th term and received 496 total votes. Elected officials such as the Cherokee County district attorney rely on horrible voter turnout and disenfranchised constituents to stay in office. It only takes a handful of supporters to discourage challengers through threat of small town exposition. They spend their time getting the dirt on one another, and holding it over their heads. Their own allies pretend to challenge them during elections to siphon votes from viable candidates and keep the status quo intact.  Cherokee County voters are to believe that Beckworth’s former assistant prosecutor on the Republican side is actually challenging him in the Fall with the intent of replacing the status quo.

The official results are in, and a paltry 2% of the county’s voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary. Whereas other counties report and post primary results immediately, Cherokee County’s embarrassing election turnout is kept from public scrutiny. They focus on run offs, the general election, and results from elsewhere in the newspapers. They don’t publish actual election night returns.

Only 560 people, including early voters, voted in the March 29, 2012 Democratic primary, or about 2% of registered Cherokee County voters. The Republican primaries had a 21% turnout in reporting precincts. (Source: Secretary of State of Texas)

Cherokee County, TX election ballot results by Party

26,552 registered voters/ 26 precincts

528/560 +/- actual votes
1.98 to 2.07% turnout

4.415/5,672 +/- actual votes
14.15% to 21.35% turnout

(Source: Secretary of State Texas, official March 29, 2012 election night returns)

Why hasn’t the county election administrators posted the last two years of results? Because unopposed incumbents lose to even uncommitted categories within their constituent ballots. Yet by law and under zero moral authority these losers stay in office and continue to draw public salaries. This why blackmail and official oppression is so common and in your face. To remain unopposed and re-elected with a handful votes, incumbents and their enablers target their opposition in the court systems before the elections. They shit smear them in the newspapers and threaten them in front of their hand-picked grand juries. This is how some of the lowest forms of human debris remain in office for ten to twenty years or more. They spend their time going after challengers by threat or by court order, and in Cherokee County’s judicial system, they let child molesters and jail-house snitches do their dirty work.

Voters have to look no further than Elmer Beckworth‘s solicitation of an incarcerated parole violator’s testimony against death row inmate Richard Cobb, in exchange for dropping felony possession of a gun charges. And what amounts to letters of accommodations to the felon’s Rusk, TX parole officer. (Source: US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, case no. 11-70003)

Re: Wiliam Thomsen
Please be advised that this office will not seek prosecution of
the above individual for the offense of Unlawful Possession of
Firearm by Felon.

If anything further is needed please contact this office.

Elmer C. Beckworth, Jr.

(Source: letter dated January 10, 2003 admitted the day before closing arguments in the Richard Cobb capital murder trial; Cause No. 15054 in the 2nd District Court Cherokee County; US Fifth Circuit.)

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

05/30/2012 at 8:00 PM

Back woods and back pocket Justice: when judges, prosecutors and jurors act in collusion

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Terry Allan Watkins vs. the State of Texas – a lesson in the Kerry Max Cook exoneration.

Good Ol’ Boys always pat each other on the back when they get away with murder. They have been doing it for decades. Almost identical examples are Smith County’s Kerry Max Cook case revisited and Cherokee County’s Terry Watkins murder trial, circa 1978 and 1992 respectively. Both cases had investigators lying under oath, the fabrication of criminal intent, a locally tainted jury, and eager assistant prosecutors lying to the appeals courts year after year to cover the tracks of the real perpetrators working in their stead. Both cases had innocent men sitting in prison while administrative judges worked out deals for their release and to keep lying prosecutors in office. It is recently come to light that Kerry Max Cook evidence that would have exonerated him in the 70’s was destroyed by prosecutors; the alleged murder weapon was kept as souvenir.


(Cook courtesy KLTV)

As an agreement to his release, Cook had to consent to enter a No-Contest plea with the Smith County district court  to gain his freedom after being framed by local law enforcement. Cook, a resident of Jacksonville, TX, was originally convicted in 1978 for the murder of a Tyler woman and sentenced to death. He was retried twice and in 1994 convicted a second time until it was reversed and remanded because prosecutorial misconduct. The district attorney’s office hid evidence and fabricated fingerprint forensics to gain a conviction.  (Kerry Max Cook, Appellant v. The State of Texas, Appellee Court of Criminal Appeals 940 S.W.2d 623 (1996))

Terry Alan Watkins of Nacogdoches had his original capital murder conviction remanded to the 2nd Judicial District and also had to agree to time served in order to get out of prison. Watkins spent 5 years of a life sentence in TDCJ until his conviction was overturned. He was accused of “murder for remuneration” after the wife of the deceased cashed in a $650K life insurance policy.  (Watkins v. State 883 S.W.2d 377 (1994) Terry Alan Watkins, Appellant, v.The STATE of Texas, Appellee.No. 12-93-00291-CR. Court of Appeals of Texas, Tyler. August 22, 1994)

Both of these cases show the extent of the “taint of prosecutors’ misconduct,” but State attorneys alone can’t do it without a willing East Texas judge and jury. How were these innocent men convicted? By a corrupted pool of local and non-resident jurors who were coached by prosecutors to lie in order to be seated.

The 1994 Smith County grand jury that re-indicted Kerry Max Cook was headed by Judge Cynthia Kent’s law partner and former Smith County prosecutor. Terry Watkin’s 1992 Cherokee County jury was wined and dined by the State prosecutor and his investigator throughout the trial. In fact, the Cherokee County district attorney accepted money from the deceased’s family to hire an outside “investigator.”


Kerry Max Cook and his attorneys are pushing to move his latest DNA hearing out of Smith County. That request has currently been denied.

Now, Cook is seeking additional DNA testing to legally clear his name, but he argues he doesn’t stand a fighting chance if his case remains in Smith County, where the courts have found that prosecutors committed misconduct in the past. (Source: The Texas Tribune, May 15, 2012)

Law firms that have business in rural East Texas, and namely Rusk, TX, should do themselves a favor and do a thorough background check on every juror called upon. They are facing an illegally rigged jury system and complacent courthouse. Judges, opposing parties, and prosecutors are all bedfellows of the jury and witnesses. Even when prosecutors are caught red-handed tampering with evidence, they are given free reign to call as many tainted juries as it takes to get what they want. The jury system is a weapon for a rogue criminal justice system. Don’t expect any better when the judges are intimately involved with State witnesses.

Jury Tampering 101

East Texas juries are stacked by the district and county courts with absolutely zero oversight or vetting by defense attorneys. These people are coached to perjure themselves in order to be impaneled. It is a back water con game orchestrated in complete solidarity with the higher courts. It has been going on since the day these people took office. Like their corrupt neighbors surrounding them, Cherokee County,TX juries are for sale. A small favor or some Glamour Shots of your wife are all that is needed.

Don’t have a voter ID and live somewhere else? Are your in-laws being sued in Cherokee County and you want to get the SOB filing the complaint? Do you live two counties over and just want to hang out on with the judges and sit on a jury for kicks? Even though you vote three or four times in another county? Do you want to cash in on a Slip-and-Fall claim on a big city employer and pretend you don’t know the Plaintiff?

Do you hide your married name on your juror questionnaire and deliberately misspell your true name, in hopes of sneaking on to a Cherokee County trial?

Are you a professional East Texas juror, roaming back and forth in between visits to your probation officer and the Food Stamp line?

Can Cherokee County prosecutors win criminal cases without the help of the County Clerk’s office calling on people from out of the county to sit on their juries? Are people from out of the county illegally summoned to sit on Cherokee County juries? Can the Cherokee County district attorney rely on homegrown residents to vote a verdict in his favor; or instead rely on illegally pooled people from other counties to sit on the jury? These are the questions local media outlets should be asking, if in fact they weren’t part of the problem.

How long should we hold our breath before we ever read about it in the local classified section?

Attention all out of town law firms! Back woods courthouse seats ineligible non-resident jurors in open violation of Texas law.

Judicial terrorism

When the court systems are used to cover up and frame someone for the homicides their public servant employees commit, they are essentially ordering the murder of innocent people. The injustices in the Cook and Watkins cases alone are staggering and should shed light on exactly the type of criminal justice operating in the region. Judges with conflicts of interest, aided and abetted by corrupt law enforcement and prosecutors, are free to condemn innocent people to death. They can accept money and wind up on the Court of Appeals, or hide evidence and join the Attorney General’s office. Not one official has ever been held accountable for the homegrown corrupt-to-the-core judicial apparatus.

Nine women who were terrorized and raped by Jacksonville, TX police officer Larry Pugh lived to file a civil tort against him and the city. Other victims went missing and their remains discovered in neighboring counties. After previous complaints by thirty different women, only one resulted in his prosecution and incarceration.

The body of Terri Renee Troublefield Reyes, 38, of Athens, was found by hunters on or near a Texas Forest Service road recently. She had been missing since May 21, 2006.

The sheriff’s department would not confirm what condition the body was in when it was found.

Reyes was a witness in a rape investigation involving former Jacksonville Police Department officer [Larry] Pugh. She and another woman, Shunte Coleman, disappeared while he was out on bond from federal court.

Coleman remains missing.

(Source: Daily Progress June 15, 2007 “Missing woman’s body said found”)

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

05/17/2012 at 3:00 PM

Mother and 11-year old daughter pepper sprayed at Mudstock ATV event

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In the Eastern District of Texas, United States District Court

Case 6:12-cv-00071, Janette Vaught and H.Y. a minor v. Cherokee County, Texas, Deputy Donald Williams, Unknown Sheriff’s Deputy, Sheriff James Campbell; and Townsquare Media, LLC

Jacksonville, TX:

The US Eastern District will be considering another civil rights complaint filed by a Smith County resident who attended Jacksonville’s Mudcreek Off-Road Park event in September 2010. Janette Vaught and her 11-year old daughter were pulled from a moving 4-wheeler driven by a third person, and all three kicked and maced by Cherokee County Sheriff Deputies working security at the annual Mudstock event. Participants in the pageant were pre-assigned drivers who paraded couples and family members around the arena. The driver of Ms. Vaught and her daughter’s ATV was David Barlow of Rusk, TX.  Barlow was charged with resisting arrest after the pepper spraying, and recently accepted a deferred adjudication agreement. As Barlow drove around the arena, he apparently failed to quickly respond to the command of Deputy Don Williams as the ATV carrying Ms. Vaught and her daughter approached the event center stage. As a result, Barlow was hauled off to jail that evening and mother and daughter were sent home bruised up with a belly full of mace. Ms. Vaught and her daughter reside in Tyler, TX, the child with relatives.

David Barlow is apparently no stranger to the Cherokee County criminal justice system. With a pending civil rights complaint against them, Barlow could have faced a courtroom of ineligible jurors in their back pockets, or have the district judge sentence him in hopes of quelling his passengers’  civil complaint. The fact is Cherokee County law enforcement knows they can lose their cool and there will be no repercussions for roughing up innocent bystanders and pepper spraying children in the process. Sheriff James Campbell does not reprimand his employees for violating the law and the higher courts will not hold that bunch accountable without a federal jury trial. Hence the US Eastern District’s pattern of summarily dismissing civil rights cases across their jurisdiction, before a vetted federal jury can even consider the complaints.

In her complaint, Ms. Vaught is seeking punitive damages against the Cherokee County sheriff department and the radio station that organized of the off-road event. She claims the lack screening of drivers and security, as well as Sheriff James Campbell’s departmental policies, lead to her and her daughter’s injuries.

As the driver of the all-terrain vehicle approached a stage, police officers grabbed his [Barlow’s] arm and used Mace on the driver and on Vaught and her daughter.

Ms.Vaught further states that she attempted to file a written report with the sheriff regarding the incident but a proper investigation was not conducted.

She claims she was told to contact the FBI.

On behalf of the minor, the plaintiff is seeking damages for emotional trauma, loss of sleep, anxiety, loss of appetite and fear. (Source: Southeast Texas Record, Feb. 27, 2012 Radio station sued after police Mace child at Mudstock event)

Every spectator, vendor and contestant at the event witnessed the arrest of David Barlow and assault of his passengers, but only one media outlet located in Beaumont, TX reported the assaults and original Civil Tort Claim.

Count One: the violation of Ms. Vaught and her daughter’s constitutional right by the reckless behavior of the Cherokee County deputies and their policy in place of pretending that the pepper spraying and kicking of three compliant individuals, including a child, didn’t take place. Even though every single spectator at the stage level eye-witnessed the mother and daughter thrown from the 4-wheeler by deputies kicking David Barlow’s ass. Has any Cherokee County official in recent memory, other than County Attorney Craig Caldwell, ever issued a formal apology for making a mistake? (Source: KETK Jan. 19, 2012, “County Attorney apologizes to KETK”)

By their conduct and the ensuing lack of investigation or disciplinary actions, the Sheriff’s Department obviously endorsed an unwritten policy, practice, and/or custom of indifference to the rights and safety of by standers during arrests and demanding instant compliance despite the fact that the vehicle was still running. The target of the arrest had no weapons, and had apparently done nothing more than, at most, fail to immediately follow the instructions of Deputy Williams. Any reasonable deputy would have made sure the bystanders were safe before undertaking violent actions against someone in such close proximity in a public place.

In Count Two, Ms. Vaught spells out in her complaint the trauma her daughter suffered from a getting a lung full of pepper spray and the child’s loss of appetite and nightmares.

Although Plaintiffs’ injuries to their eyes and respiratory systems were temporary, the same were extremely painful and the effects lingered for several days. Psychologically, the injures were more profound. Plaintiff Vaught sought to hold the Defendant Deputies responsible or at least secure an apology and assurance that this type of behavior would be punished. Instead, she met with official indifference to the assault she and her minor daughter suffered. Having lost her voice, she suffered, and still suffers from physical manifestations of her emotional distress including loss of appetite, loss of sleep, anxiety and stress. Similarly, H.Y. suffered from painful irritation to her eyes, nose, throat, and lungs in addition to headaches. More importantly, she suffered severe emotional trauma and now has a fear/distrust of males in general, and law enforcement and authority figures in particular. Her schoolwork suffered and she experienced loss of sleep, anxiety, and loss of appetite among other psychological symptoms.”

Count Three addresses the Cherokee County deputies’ unlawful assault and battery that in itself was reckless with absolutely no regard to other’s safety or welfare. Such disregard for human life is apparent in the County’s and Sheriff’s policymaking, therefore Ms. Vaught’s complaint shows the deputies’ actions that day meet the approval of Sheriff James Campbell. The fact is the Cherokee County sheriff never apologizes for anything his deputies engage in, whether it is beating those in custody, or his lead investigator caught red handed emailing lies about the Jacksonville police chief. Campbell’s policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been in effect since the days he and convicted child pornographer Harold ‘Bo’ Scallon stood watch over the Rusk Youth Center. (Source: Cherokeean Herald, March 3, 1983) The word “accountability” does not exist in Cherokee County lingo.

Count Four holds the Townsquare media organization negligent for hiring incompetent security who put the entire event at risk, as was done during the 2004 Tomato Bowl riot. The city of Jacksonville was forced to settle with those sustaining injuries in that preventable Homecoming football game melee. The Jacksonville Police Department was present during the Mudstock event and offered no assistance according to Janette Vaught’s tort claim. However, she is not suing the city, only members of the Sheriff Department and ATV pageant organizers.

We shall see if the US Eastern District again refuses to hold Cherokee County accountable for its documented and ongoing civil rights violations. We shall see if these homegrown judges find another battered woman and her minor daughter to be Cherokee County’s throw away collateral damage, since an underpaid deputy’s apology is out of the question.

(Source: Case 6:12-cv-00071, Janette Vaught and H.Y. a minor v. Cherokee County, Texas, Deputy Donald Williams, Unknown Sheriff’s Deputy, Sheriff James Campbell, and Townsquare Media, LLC)


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