Court to feds: Explain Marine’s Facebook-postings arrest

Judge refuses to dismiss law enforcement officers from false-detention lawsuit

returning homeFrom, 08/03/13 – A federal judge in Richmond, Va., has refused to dismiss from a lawsuit  several FBI and Secret Service agents as well as local police officers who  arrested a military veteran based on an opinion from a counselor who had never  met him that he might be a danger.

The officers had confronted the veteran, Brandon Raub, after he expressed  criticism of the U.S. government on a social networking page.

They arrested Raub and kept him in custody for an evaluation based on the  long-distance opinion from Michael Campbell, a psychotherapist hired by the  local county. But when the case came before a judge, his ruling found the  concerns raised by the officers were “so devoid of any factual allegations that  it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.”

Raub then sued the officers for taking him into custody.

The latest ruling rejected a request by the officers to end the case.

“Brandon Raub’s case exposes the seedy underbelly of a governmental system  that continues to target military veterans for expressing their discontent over  America’s rapid transition to a police state,” said John W. Whitehead, president  of The Rutherford Institute.

“While such targeting of veterans and dissidents is problematic enough, for  any government official to suggest that they shouldn’t be held accountable for  violating a citizen’s rights on the grounds that they were unaware of the  Constitution’s prohibitions makes a mockery of our so-called system of  representative government. Thankfully, Judge Hudson has recognized this  imbalance and ensured that Brandon Raub will get his day in court,” he said.

The decision came from U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, who essentially said  there is not enough information at this point in the case to dismiss the law  enforcement defendants. He ordered limited discovery.

The Rutherford Institute called the decision a victory for free speech and  the right to be free from wrongful arrest.

Raub, a decorated Marine, had been taken into custody by “a swarm” of FBI,  Secret Service agents and local police and forcibly detained in a psychiatric  ward for a week because of controversial song lyrics and political views posted  on his Facebook page, Rutherford reported.

Hudson said the Rutherford Institute, which is representing Raub, had alleged  sufficient facts to indicate that the involuntary commitment violated his rights  under the U.S. Constitution’s First and Fourth Amendments.

Institute attorneys had filed the civil rights lawsuit in federal court on  behalf of Raub, alleging that his seizure and detention were the result of a  federal government program code-named “Operation Vigilant Eagle” that involves  the systematic surveillance of military veterans who express views critical of  the government.

The complaint alleges that the attempt to label Raub as “mentally ill” and  his subsequent involuntary commitment was a pretext designed to silence speech  critical of the government.

It was Aug. 16, 2012, when Chesterfield police, Secret Service and FBI agents  arrived at Raub’s home, asking to speak with him about his Facebook posts. Like  many Facebook users, Raub, a Marine who has served tours in Iraq and  Afghanistan, uses his Facebook page to post song lyrics and air his political  opinions.

Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or  reading him his rights, law enforcement officials handcuffed Raub and  transported him to police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center,  where he was held against his will.

The Institute reported in a hearing on Aug. 20, government officials pointed  to Raub’s Facebook posts as the reason for his incarceration. While Raub stated  that the Facebook posts were being read out of context, a special justice  ordered Raub be held up to 30 more days for psychological evaluation and  treatment.

But Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett ordered Raub’s immediate release a  short time later, and the lawsuit was initiated.


2 responses

  1. Glad to see justice is still a consideration in some Federal Courts, still. How much longer until the courts are total failures?

  2. Senator_Blutarsky

    A startling interview with former Reagan Admin official telling OTHER things they are doing to American servicemen. This also covers the timidity and gullibility of the average voter.

    Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how americans lost the protection of law, has been released by Random House.

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