This week Liberty County Florida Sheriff, Nick Finch was arrested by Governor Rick Scott for standing in defense of the Constitution and honoring his oath of office. Sheriff Finch believes the Second Amendment means what it says, our Right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. What Sheriff Finch did was well within his authority and in full compliance with the rules and regulations for records retention and destruction. What Sheriff Finch did was stand in the gap where the government is trying to erode your Liberty.
Sheriff Finch made the decision to not pursue a charge against Floyd Parish; well within the authority of the Sheriff to do. Upon making that decision, Sheriff Finch removed Parish’s file from the records and removed his name from the jail log. Well within his authority; The General Records Schedule for Law Enforcement, Correctional Facilities, and District Medical Examiners outlines this authority.
ARREST RECORDS: OFFENDER INFORMATION Item #32
This record series documents each adult and juvenile arrested. The records provide such information as complete name; alias or nickname; residence; sex; age; date of birth; place of birth; height; weight; color of hair; color of eyes; complexion; race; date of arrest and/or offense; offense committed; car make, year, license number, and state; occupation; habits; name of closest relative or friends; scars, marks, or tattoos; any abnormalities; and special remarks. The juvenile records may also include parent(s) or guardian’s name(s), telephone number(s), and occupation(s). If the arrest results in an investigation, the record should be filed with the applicable Criminal Investigative Records item. See also “CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE RECORDS” items, “CRIMINAL HISTORY SUMMARY RECORDS/RAP SHEETS,” and “MASTER NAME INDEXES.”
a) Record copy. Retain until obsolete, superseded, or administrative value is lost.
b) Duplicates. Retain until obsolete, superseded, or administrative value is lost.
You see, when Sheriff Finch used his proper authority to not pursue charges against Mr. Parish, the records pertaining to his arrest lost their “administrative value.” Sheriff Finch, by this Florida Regulation was within his authority to destroy this record.
The arrest affidavit of Sheriff Finch gives a pretty detailed account of what took place. But the arrest affidavit NEVER mentions Parish being booked into custody. Being placed in a jail cell is not being booked. If the arrest affidavit is accurate, and we have to trust it to be as it was given under oath, then Parish was never booked so the log that contained his name was in error and the Sheriff’s office also had full authority to white out his name and make space for someone who was actually booked into the jail.
Sheriff Finch never broke a law and never even violated a regulation. So what is he being accused of doing?
The arrest affidavit claims Sheriff Finch violated Florida Statute 838.022(1). This statute reads:
F.S.838.022 (1): It is unlawful for a public servant, with corrupt intent to obtain a benefit for any person or to cause harm to another, to: (b): Conceal, cover up, destroy, mutilate, or alter any official record or official document or cause another person to perform such an act;
Is Governor Scott trying to tell us that when Sheriff Finch defended our Constitutionally protected Rights he was acting with “corrupt intent?” Have we really come to the point in our country where honoring your oath to “support and defend the Constitution” and wanting to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity” is a crime of corrupt intent?
Is Governor Scott trying to tell us that when Sheriff Finch stood in defense of our Constitutionally protected Rights he was conferring upon Mr. Parish a “benefit.” The Second Amendment is NOT a benefit it is a RIGHT and the last time I checked it was called a Bill of Rights not a Bill of Benefits.
Do you think Sheriff Finch should just have shut up and enforced the law even knowing it is unconstitutional? I hope not. He took oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States FIRST; not an oath to support and defend unconstitutional laws. If you believe officers should simply enforce all the laws, regardless of their oath, then why in the world do they even take one? Is it just a pleasant formality that looks good in a ceremony or does it actually mean something? It is a man of honor who will stand for his word, even when it might be unpopular, even when it might hurt. Sheriff Finch appears to be a man of such honor. By the way, I can remember an incident in our recent history, where a Sheriff should have stood for what was right and what was constitutional. Instead the Sheriff chose to simply enforce the law. On that day, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to sit in the back of the bus.
The Second Amendment clearly states our Right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED! Sheriff Finch believes in the Constitution. He believes in his oath.
Sheriff Finch did nothing wrong. He defended the Constitution. He stood in the gap for us. Now he’s being prosecuted for that. It’s time to stand in the gap for him. When our Sheriffs are toppled, then we are the last line of defense.