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Sheriff’s deputy is touched by a note left by two black women after an anonymous act of kindness

Deputy Jody McDowell thanked the women for their generosity in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

“I want to thank the two sweet black ladies who paid for my breakfast this morning,” he said. “While waiting for a transport to be completed, I decided to have breakfast at a Cracker Barrel near the Nashville airport.”

Accompanying his post was a photo of the note the women left with their act of kindness: “BLM, but so does yours! Thank you for your service. Breakfast paid.”

McDowell is a deputy with the Sumner County Sheriff’s Department. Sumner County is in Middle Tennessee about 25 miles north of Nashville.

Janella Escobar with Cracker Barrel confirmed McDowell’s story to CNN.

“At Cracker Barrel, we believe in treating everyone who walks through our doors as family, and we work hard to foster a welcoming environment for our guests and employees,” Escobar said.

“It makes us especially proud to see when guests take it upon themselves to extend our mission of “Pleasing People” and commit random acts of kindness towards each other, as these two women did yesterday.”

The women left the restaurant before anyone got their names, Escobar said.

McDowell told CNN affiliate WKRN that the women were eating before a flight back to Baltimore, Maryland. He was unable to get their names or contact information but he hopes they see his post.

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North Carolina sheriff’s employee fired after group converged on black teen’s home

Jordan Kita is charged with forcible trespass, breaking and entering and willful failure to discharge duties, New Hanover and Pender County District Attorney Ben David said last week.

Kita, who the teen’s family says wedged his foot in the door when 18-year-old Dameon Shepard and his mother tried to close it, committed the crimes “while armed and in uniform in a county that he was not duly sworn in and in furtherance of personal not law enforcement purposes,” the prosecutor said.

Pender County resident Austin Wood, who is accused of carrying a gun in the mob, is charged with going armed to the terror of the public, the police said.

The New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon fired Kita, he said in a statement that David read to reporters.

“Upon hearing of the incident involving Jordan Kita, I immediately began an internal affairs investigation,” the Friday statement said. “Today, after speaking with the district attorney and (Pender County) Sheriff (Alan) Cutler, Jordan Kita has been terminated.”

Asked why no one was arrested May 3, when the incident happened, Cutler told reporters his office “wanted to make sure the right thing was done.”

“Instead of rushing in and making a charge that evening, the situation was defused,” he said. “We felt like the threat was over, and this has allowed us … some time to be able to investigate this situation and make some informed decisions.”

David declined to delve too deeply into the facts but urged residents to “please remain calm and to know that committed professionals are going to see that justice is done in a courtroom, not the court of public opinion.”

CNN’s attempts to reach Kita and Wood went unanswered as of Monday afternoon.

The allegations in the case

Monica Shepard and her son, Dameon, are one of two black families in the middle-class Pender County neighborhood about a 30-minute drive northeast of Wilmington, family attorney Jim Lea told CNN. Her son is about to graduate from Laney High School, and a bright yellow sign reading, “Congratulations, Dameon. We are proud of you!” sits in the front yard.

On May 3, at about 10 p.m., Dameon Shepard was playing video games when he heard a knock at the door. His mother was sleeping. The teen opened the door, Lea said, to find a group of about 15 white people — mostly men and three of them armed — on the porch and walkway of his property.

The group “came up like a lynch mob up to the door demanding the Shepards answer their questions,” Lea told CNN.

They were looking for another black teen and wanted information about a 16-year-old girl who Lea said had run away from home. At the head of the group was Kita, in uniform, and a man who identified himself as the girl’s brother but may have been her father, Lea said.

“Directly behind them were two armed individuals, one with an assault weapon and one with a shotgun,” Lea wrote last week in a letter to David.

Dameon Shepard attempted to close the front door on them, but Kita “stuck his foot in the door and refused to let him shut it and kept demanding to come into the home. Dameon became very frightened and hysterical and kept repeating that his name was Dameon,” the letter said.

Mother enters fray

Monica Shepard woke up during the confrontation and ordered her son to go back inside, and Kita and others began grilling her, insisting they be allowed to come in, Lea wrote.

“As she attempted to close the door, (Kita) placed his foot again and pushed against the door preventing (her) from closing it fully. She repeatedly demanded that they leave,” his letter said.

The black teen being sought by the group, and the teen’s mother, previously lived next door but had moved out of the neighborhood weeks before the incident, Lea told CNN.

The group eventually began to realize they were at the wrong residence, the letter said. The group dispersed but many of them, including the people who were armed, returned when Pender County deputies arrived at the home, Lea wrote.

The deputies made no arrests, despite the Shepards’ and some of their neighbors’ protestations, and later, a captain with the sheriff’s office came by and told Shepard “it was complicated to arrest anyone who had been there the previous night or apprehend them,” Lea’s letter said.

The deputies hadn’t even taken anyone’s name, but he’d follow up, the captain told Shepard, according to the letter.

“We obviously cannot have armed groups of citizens patrolling the streets of Pender County or New Hanover County terrorizing innocent families,” Lea wrote in conclusion.

The 16-year-old girl was found later that night, Lea told CNN.

‘No one’s above the law’

David said he consulted with 10 prosecutors before making his decision to have Kita and the other man arrested. Part of the problem was figuring out where exactly the law had been broken because “not everything that offends us is illegal under the criminal laws,” he said.

More arrests could come, he said.

Where Sheriff Cutler said his deputies took their time to “make sure we made an informed decision,” David said the sheriff was also dealing with a protocol, put in place years ago by David’s office, that prohibits citizens from swearing out misdemeanor warrants against law enforcement officers.

Because officers are so often in a position to be accused of wrongdoing — and because the integrity of the institution demands authorities “make absolutely certain that no one is wearing the badge who would violate the laws” — his office requires that a criminal investigation precede any officer’s arrest, he said.

“No one’s above the law, and no one’s beneath its protection, and one thing that we absolutely make certain of is that anyone who’s violating the law be treated the same,” he said.

David would not say how Kita was related to the missing girl, but he said there was a “familial relation and they’re not total strangers to each other.”

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2 Clarke County inmates recaptured after manhunt, sheriff’s says | Alabama

Clarke County escaped inmates

 Termaine Chapman, left, and John Deonjia Jackson

CLARKE COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) — Following an intense manhunt early Monday morning, a pair of escaped inmates were recaptured in Clarke County, said Sheriff Ray Norris.

The inmates had escaped from the Clarke County Jail. The sheriff said during the 6 p.m. hour that the inmates were recaptured in the Mount Zion community.

The inmates were identified as Termaine Chapman and John Deonjia Jackson.

Earlier, the sheriff had advised citizens to be on the lookout out for the inmates and that they could still be wearing their orange jail clothing.

Jackson, 26, is charged with second-degree rape and sodomy and was being housed at the jail in Clarke County on behalf of Butler County, said Clarke County Sheriff Ray Norris. 

Chapman, 26, of Grove Hill, was being held on probation revocation, Norris said. 

The sheriff put the word out early Monday that authorities should be notified immediately if either escapee was spotted. He said his office had received reports via 911 calls of sightings in the Mount Zion area.

“They are dangerous because they are inmates,” Norris told FOX10 News before the pair had been recaptured. “People in Grove Hill need to be on the lookout for them and call 911 immediately if they see someone they do not know.”

Dogs from Atmore were sent in to assist in the search, Norris said.

The sheriff says how the men escaped is under investigation.

Recaptured Clarke County inmates

Escaped inmates Termaine Chapman and John Deonjia Jackson were taken into custody, without incident, around 6:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, according to the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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Anonymous diner pays lunch tab for 11 Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputies | News

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46)– Decorations, Christmas carols, and comfort food are all reasons the 5 Stop Café in Lawrenceville is a popular place this time of year… even Santa visits!

It’s where 11 Gwinnett County sheriff’s deputies chose to have lunch on Friday.

“Every so often we get together as a group, as a unit, to go out and have a meal, and this Friday happened to be the day and we just picked a place like we normally do,” said Master Deputy Michael Baker.

“We had all completed eating and the waitress came over and collected our plates and we were getting ready for the bill and she politely said, ‘you guys are all set, someone has taken care of your bill and they want to remain anonymous.”

Because there were 11 of them, the deputies say, they were shocked. They knew the bill had to have been very high.

“We were kinda like are you sure? Are you serious? We were looking around trying to figure out who it was” said Deputy Stephan Santa Maria.

Waitress, Rachel Razetto was happy to see the act of kindness play out. She says the Secret Santa, was actually more than one person. It was a table of 12 men, who are regulars at the Café. She sat them at a table right next to the deputies.

“The deputies were seated first, and the gentlemen walked past them, and as they came to their table, they pulled me over and said ‘hey we’re going to take care of their bill,” Razetto said.

After the deputies learned of the act of kindness, they asked Razetto if the Secret Santa(s) were still there at the restaurant. She told them they were.

“At that point they went and got thank you cards, and sheriff memorabilia, and wrote a thank you card,” said Razetto. “They all signed it, they said ‘please make sure whoever took care of us gets this’. So they were very thankful.”

But the deputies didn’t stop there. They were so touched by the gesture, they wanted to pay it forward. They pooled together all the cash they had and left the waitress a $65 tip.

“Someone passed something good on to us, so we decided we were going to pass it on to someone else” said Deputy Santa Maria. But what they didn’t know, was just how badly she needed it.

“And that… they did [leave that tip money] and the other [Secret Santa] party left a tip on that bill as well and that meant a lot to me… obviously anyone would appreciate that but um, especially now, I have young kids and right during the holidays, it was needed – and it was… I was very appreciative,” said Razetto.

Razetto tells CBS46 the deputies’ bill totaled more than $200, and since the Secret Santa table had a party of 12, their own bill was high too. All that tip money, Razetto, says was a blessing. The single mother of three, works three jobs to make ends meet.

“It came at just the right time, and I hope to pay it forward someway too.”

And with that, a single act of kindness, will be felt far beyond those it was originally intended for.

“It was just like Christmas spirit, everything about it,” Razetto said. “I’m blessed to be a part of it.”

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Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office deputies deliver food baskets to seniors in need

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Deputies from the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office spread some cheer by helping people in need on Thursday.

Chesapeake sheriff’s deputies with the holiday baskets they assembled for local senior citizens

The department’s annual Holiday Basket Delivery kicked off at 8:30 a.m.

Sheriff Jim O’Sullivan and his deputies visited Chesapeake seniors in need of assistance, dropping off more than 100 baskets filled with about 30 pounds of food. The goal is to help them celebrate the holidays comfortably.

News 3 followed deputies during last year’s delivery.

Seniors who received baskets were grateful for the gesture and said it made the holidays easier.

“I thank the sheriff’s department for blessing me with this food and I thank them for taking the time because sometimes when you’re old, people don’t take time with you,” said Audrey Smith, one of the department’s delivery stops.

Sheriff O’Sullivan made several stops in person, offering not only food, but hugs and conversation.

“We like knocking on the doors and giving people good things. Not warrants, or levees, or evictions. We want to give them goods for their holidays and make them smile and today, we’re able to do that,” the sheriff told News 3.

The sheriff’s office says Walmart on Hillcrest Parkway donated non-perishable food items to help fill the baskets.

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Five people, including former Sheriff’s Captain, charged with illegal gun trafficking

Marco Garmo, 52, served as a sheriff’s deputy 27 years and was the captain in charge of the Rancho San Diego Station, according to a news release from the US Attorney’s Office.

He was charged with engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license, making false statements in acquisition of a firearm, obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and other offenses.

Besides making a profit, Garmo sold guns to cultivate future donors for his anticipated campaign for sheriff of San Diego County, the news release said.

“This office will not tolerate public servants who abuse their positions of trust for personal gain,” Assistant US Attorney Peter Mazza said in the news release. “Law enforcement members who step outside of the law are subject to the same standards as everyone else in our community. No one deserves the fair application of the law more than all of the law-abiding men and women who wear the badge honorably to protect our communities.”

The 23-count indictment unsealed Friday alleges sheriff’s department Lt. Fred Magana, 42; San Diego jeweler Leo Hamel, 62; firearms dealer Giovanni Tilotta, 38; and El Cajon resident Waiel Anton, 35, aided Garmo in operating an illegal gun trafficking business.

Hamel and Magana entered guilty pleas Friday to aiding and abetting Garmo’s business and will be sentenced in February 2020. Garmo and Anton were arrested Friday morning scheduled to be arraigned in federal court Friday afternoon. Tilotta has not been arrested yet, Mazza said.

Hamel’s lawyer, Michael Pancer, issued this statement: “Mr. Hamel is pleased to have this matter behind him and he is satisfied with the agreement he has made with the government. This will allow him to get back to his family and continue to the businesses he enjoys along with his numerous community service activities.”

Jeremy Warren, the attorney representing Tilotta, told CNN: “Mr. Tilotta is a small business owner with a spotless record. He was out of town visiting his family when he learned of the charges. He will return to San Diego immediately to address the matter in court.”

CNN sought comment from the other three men but has not heard back. Garmo was put on paid administrative leave after federal agents searched his home earlier this year and he has since resigned from the department, CNN affiliate KUSI reported.

Between March 2013 and February 2019, Garmo acquired about 146 guns and sold or transferred 104 of them, the US Attorney’s Office said. Many of those transactions involved “off-roster” handguns, which under California law could only be sold to law enforcement officers, not members of the general public, Mazza said.

Garmo would engineer “straw” purchases of firearms by certifying he was purchasing them for himself, but in reality, he bought the guns for someone else not in law enforcement, the indictment says.

The other four defendants helped Garmo by participating in the straw purchases, backdating paperwork to avoid the 10-day waiting requirement and helping Garmo’s customers obtain expedited weapons permits through illicit cash payments.

Tilotta, the owner of Honey Badger Firearms, repeatedly facilitated Garmo’s straw purchase of firearms by accepting and submitting falsified firearms records, according to the indictment. According to the indictment, Tilotta sold and transferred firearms inside Garmo’s office at the Rancho San Diego Station, in violation of state and federal law.

Garmo is facing drug trafficking charges for allegedly tipping off a cousin, a partner in an illegal marijuana dispensary, to impending searches by the sheriff’s department, the indictment says.

San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore issued a statement, saying he was “disappointed by the actions of these two individuals, as they do not reflect the values of this department and its thousands of trustworthy, hard-working employees.”

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Dash cam footage shows moments former Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office employee is arrested for DUI

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — For the first time, we’re getting a look at the moments a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office employee is arrested for allegedly driving drunk.

The incident led to the firing of Samantha Krenek. New dashcam footage reveals her incredible request to the deputy who caught her.

Back in September, a Pinellas County Deputy stopped Krenek in the area of U.S. 19 at Countryside Mall. A breathalyzer test showed her blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

Dashcam footage obtained by ABC Action News shows the reason deputies suspected Krenek of driving drunk. In it, you can see Krenek failing to follow directions and often losing her balance.

“Apparently I can’t do that. I’m already wobbling,” she told the deputy when he asked her to perform a field sobriety exercise.

The former child protection supervisor for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office admits she just came from a bar.

“Have you been drinking?” asks the deputy.

“Yes,” responds Krenek.

“What were you drinking?” asks the deputy.

“Wine,” she responds.

Krenek is in apparent disbelief she’s been arrested.

“So you really have me in handcuffs like I’m a bad person?” she asked the deputy. “I have done nothing but dedicate myself to the sheriff’s office for 15 fricken years. 15!”


Florida school safety officer fired for pointing fake gun at student

She then makes this request.

“Pull over and let me go, please. I will never say a word to anyone about this,” Krenek tells the deputy. She asks time and time again for him to not arrest her.

“You and I are on the same level. We do the same thing. You have some discretion to say ‘[expletive] she made a mistake.'”

We knocked on her door but she didn’t want to talk. Her attorney also declined to comment.

“I’m just giving you a ride. Your actions got you there,” the deputy told her.

“Did I not say I made a mistake? I made a mistake,” responds Krenek.

The arresting deputy points to PCSO’s zero-tolerance DUI policy.

“You know the sheriff’s policy. If we— you are putting us into a situation by doing this. I mean— if we try to do anything else we can lose our job,” he said.

Krenek ends up with a DUI charge and without a job.

“I don’t think you are a bad person but I do agree that you made a mistake,” the deputy tells her toward the end of the footage.

In a statement, Larry Coggins, Jr. Executive Director of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving says:

This case needs to serve as a reminder that nobody is above the law when it comes to drinking and driving. MADD commends the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy for doing his job and intercepting an impaired driver before she hurt or killed someone, including herself. The Sheriff’s Zero-Tolerance policy of terminating an employee arrested for DUI is a model to be followed.”

Krenek has a hearing next on November 20th. Her plea is not guilty.

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Davidson County Sheriff’s Office will no longer house ICE detainees starting in December

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office will no longer house Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees starting December 1.

The sheriff’s office is ending the contract with ICE following meetings with local advocacy groups, Mayor John Cooper, Metro Council members and internal stakeholders.

“The continued confusion and hyper-political nature of this issue has become a distraction from sheriff’s office priorities,”Sheriff Daron Hall said. “The number of individuals detained as a result of this contract is less than one percent of overall jail bookings; however, I spend an inordinate amount of my time debating its validity.”

Hall said any future interaction with ICE will be limited to what is required by law.

Mayor Cooper said the sheriff’s office made the right decision to cancel its inmate housing contract with ICE.

“Nashville’s local law enforcement agencies should not use Metro’s limited resources to fulfill the responsibilities of federal government agencies,” Cooper said. “As I’ve stated before, we must find appropriate ways for Metro agencies and employees to interact with federal immigration authorities in a manner that respects the separate roles of federal and local governments while also protecting the safety and well-being of everyone in our immigrant communities. I look forward to the recommendations of the task force that my office has assembled to help address these urgent matters affecting our city and our neighbors and I thank Daron Hall for participating in the task force.”

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition applauded Hall’s decision to end the contract.

“At a critical moment for immigrant families, TIRRC is proud to work alongside our engaged community members and local leaders who believe in making our city safer and more welcoming for everyone who calls Nashville home,” said TRICC Policy Director Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus. “Sheriff Hall’s decision to end the jail’s rent-a-bed agreement with ICE is an important first step toward disentangling our jail from civil immigration enforcement and ensuring that our city is not complicit in tearing families apart.”

TIRRC said the decision is an important first step toward protecting immigrant families.

“Our goal is for every one of Nashville’s residents to have faith and trust in their ability to fully interact with city government, whether that’s through schools, the health department or the justice system, and Sheriff Hall’s announcement moves our city closer to that goal,” said Bob Mendes, Metro Councilmember At-Large. “While this is only a first step, today, we can celebrate our city’s commitment to focus first and foremost on the work of local government and making Nashville a safer place for all our neighbors.”

Metro Nashville government began receiving revenue to house various federal detainees, including ICE, in 1996.

Senator Marsha Blackburn took to social media to express her frustration over the policy:
Lawless sanctuary cities make our communities dangerous, and this policy is irresponsible. It’s a sad day when law enforcement prioritizes politics over public safety. This decision is a win for one group — criminal illegal immigrants.”

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