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:
The Right of the People to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.
Sheriff Nick Finch had made the decision to not pursue charges against a man named Floyd Parish, and this is how is currently being portrayed in the Florida media.
According to court records, Finch’s arrest can be traced back to the March 8 arrest of another man, Floyd Eugene Parrish, on a charge of carrying a concealed deadly weapon.
Sgt. James Joseph Hoagland of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office arrested Parrish after stopping his car and finding a loaded semi-automatic pistol hidden in his pocket. Parrish was taken to jail and placed into a holding cell while jail workers began documenting his arrest and processing him, according to court records.
One jail worker told investigators that after Hoagland left the jail, Finch arrived with one of Parrish’s family members and spoke with Floyd Parrish inside the holding cell. Finch then went into the jail control room, took possession of the arrest file and said Parrish would be released and no charges would be filed, again, according to court records.
Hoagland told investigators that several days later, he talked with Finch about Parrish’s release, and Finch told him he “believed in Second Amendment rights.”
Investigators said in court records that Parrish’s name was whited-out from the county jail log. While Hoagland was able to provide a copy of Parrish’s arrest affidavit, the original arrest record has not been found.
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office workers also told investigators that Finch ordered the release of the confiscated pistol and another gun found in Parrish’s vehicle from the evidence room.
Finch was elected sheriff last year. In a written statement, Gov. Scott said he’s confident that Causey – his appointed replacement – “will serve the families of Liberty County well during this interim term.” Causey, 53, of Gulf Breeze, served 11 years with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.
Now here is something a bit closer to the truth. In Florida, there are concealed weapons laws, but citizens of the state – and I am one – are more than in their legal right to drive around with a firearm in their vehicle. If Parrish put the firearm in his pocket, then the arresting officer – Hoagland – has the legal right to arrest him. That being said, however, this is a gun culture state, and more than likely this should have ended up with the officer simply telling Parrish to put the firearm in his trunk or glove box.
So is was it inappropriate or illegal for Sheriff Finch to release Parrish?
Sheriff Finch was well within his authority and in full compliance with the rules and regulations for records retention and destruction. 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.
Firstly, the Parrish’s original arrest affidavit never mentioned that he was to be, or had been booked by any officer at the jail, despite what the court records subsequent to the Sheriff’s arrest said. When Sheriff Finch exercised his proper authority and decided not to charge Mr. Parish, the records pertaining to Parrish’s arrest lost their “administrative value.” Additionally, in regards to the “white out” charge, if he was never booked, then his name should not have been entered into the log.
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;
There are no reports, as of yet, that the Sheriff has any personal attachment to the man, thus this appears that the Sheriff simply rectified what is typically a courtesy extended to citizens who improperly transport a firearm. Perhaps, the arresting officer did not hear the oath of office when he took it after graduating from the academy. Gov. Rick Scott, to be honest, is polling at a pathetically low approval and in his head-to-head matchup with turncoat ex-Gov. Charlie Christ. Is this the wat the Gov. intends to excite his base? That is why he losing so badly, after he reneged on his promise not to set up the Medicaid expansion in the state.
Furthermore, Sheriff Finch believes that what he did was in defense of the government that is trying to erode your Liberty.
Do you know anyone else that has stood up for his oath, our rights, and against the erosion of liberty? This is a sad day in the state, to be sure.