Pat Shearer, the Arizona police officer who posted a photo of an Obama t-shirt riddled with bullet holes is claiming encouraging violence against the president is a victimless crime.
After Officer Shearer posted this photo of seven young men with guns holding up a bullet hole filled Obama t-shirt with the caption, “Another trip to the ranch” to his Facebook page on January 20, the Secret Service launched an investigation. It was only after the Secret Service began looking into the matter that Shearer took the photo down.
What was Shearer’s punishment?The former Sgt. Shearer was demoted, and now works the graveyard shift beside his former subordinates.. He was also given a two week suspension, but Shearer’s mind this is all excessive punishment.
Stunningly Shearer thinks his punishment is excessive because in his mind no one was hurt, “I was an idiot for putting it on Facebook, but to have all the pluses in my career forgotten over this one incident, which harmed no one, I think, is taking things too far," said Shearer, who in 2007 received a departmental medal of honor for extraordinary courage and has multiple other positive commendations and citations reflected in his personnel file.”
Shearer was punished for discrediting the department and exhibiting poor judgment, which is a bit of an understatement when a law enforcement officer who has taken an oath to protect and serve the public posts an image that promotes violence against the President of the United States. The Peoria, AZ police department’s reaction to his appeal something like, “STFU, and consider yourself lucky that you weren’t fired.”
In the state where Gabby Giffords was shot, on the day of the special election to fill her seat, Pat Shearer is arguing that posting bullet riddled images of President Obama is a victimless crime. One might be tempted to chalk this one up to Arizona being Arizona, the state that has given the nation papers please immigration laws, and you might be a Kenyan if, you are the nation’s first black president and you are trying to get on our ballot, but Shearer’s thought process is prevalent throughout the right.
To many on the right, it is fine to promote violent language and imagery against the president, so long as nobody actually gets shot. It’s just talk, right? They put a tea bag on their heads, wrap themselves in the flag and shout about the First Amendment, all the while ignoring the fact that words have consequences.
Subtle and not so subtle encouragements of violence against the president may not be a crime, but Pat Shearer all of his fellow right wingers will all be culpable if/when the violence occurs.
Image: Phoenix New Times Blogs