It happened right in our own back yard.
Our City Council just gave our Mayor the “power and duty, when necessary, call on the residents of the city […] to assist in enforcing the laws of the state and ordinances of the city”.
Sounds innocent enough, right?
Sure, until you consider that Councilmen Shingleton and Kimmel supported adding wording to restrict this power to times when doing so followed the State Constitution and U.S. Constitution. That proposed amendment was shot down — opposed by Mayor Nagle, Councilman Clark, and Councilman Peterson.
This section says the Mayor may “call upon” (or force) any person over age 21 to enforce any law or ordinance.
Councilman Peterson could have amended his motion to include this proposed amendment, but did not.
The point that was overlooked by both those arguing for and against this was that this section centers upon enforcement of the law. We have people that enforce the law, they’re called Law Enforcement Officers and they swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution — they have a sworn duty to disobey any order that they feel to be unconstitutional.
Should a Mayor round up an armed militia, will they be sworn? Will they be required to go through POST certification that LEO’s must before they can enforce the law? The codified law doesn’t include those provisions or restrictions. Nor does the codified law state what circumstances fall under the umbrella of “when necessary”. Is that martial law? Is it a state of emergency? Is it a budget shortfall where the Mayor may call upon all citizens to report ordinance violations of their neighbors to buoy up the City’s coffers?
Listen for yourself: 1:08:45
We call upon the Mayor and City Council to amend this section to read:
“[The Mayor] shall have the power and duty to, when necessary, call upon the Citizens to voluntarily assist in enforcing the laws of the state and ordinances of the city, except when doing so would violate Constitutionally guaranteed, unalienable Rights of any person or resident of the City.”