OXFORD, ALA – An armed, 21-year old male driver sitting at a traffic light in Oxford, Alabama lifted his 45-caliber Glock pistol, aimed it over the dash of his car, and took a video while holding the gun. In the video, the gun, the dash, and beyond, the object of his aim – a marked Oxford Police Department patrol vehicle occupied by officers. The date? Monday, November 2.
Infantile? Definitely. Stupid? Yes. Dangerous? Absolutely yes, if the officers had observed his action he could have been shot and killed by cops thinking they were protecting their own lives. And our nation would have erupted, yet again into a seething morass of venom, vitriol and violence.
But, the young man was not seen … until he posted that video to his Facebook page, where 2285 Friends and others could view it, earlier this week.
Rash? Definitely. Self-incriminating? Oh, yes.
That’s when the Oxford Police Department acted. Long-time Police Chief Bill Partridge sent officers to arrest LaTavious Hutchison of Addison, Alabama for making terroristic threats. Hutchinson was arrested and jailed to await bond and a scheduling of a court date.
Press Release- November 4, 2020 pic.twitter.com/pozuQFGAjz
— Bill Partridge 🇺🇸 (@ChiefBPartridge) November 4, 2020
Making Terroristic Threats in Alabama is a Class C Felony.
“This type of anti-police, anti-public behavior will not be tolerated by anyone, anytime.”
Partridge, a veteran officer who has served the citizens of Oxford since 1989, probably stands at a perfect time in his career to take a strong position against cop violence and threats toward officers. According to a post on the Oxford Police Department Facebook page by the Executive Officer to Chief Partridge Sergeant Jake Durham, Partridge suffered a heart attack earlier this year.
Penalties for a Class C Felony for Terroristic Threats in Alabama could result in incarceration of more than year in county jail, up to $250,000 in fines, restitution and probation of at least six months.
This young man, who graduated three years ago from Oxford High School and writes, on Facebook, that he is a “silent worker of compassion” will now face tremendous penalties. In a Facebook page full of smiling selfies, it does not seem possible that this person could be construed a threat. But scroll down that same Facebook page, and see a hint of what was on his mind November 3.
LaTavious Hutchison Facebook Home page 11082020
LaTavious Hutchison Addison AL arrested for Felony Terroristic Threat by Oxford PD
In a state that is less “anti-cop” than some, pockets of people still exist showing the fanaticism associated with the anti-cop police movement. In July, an Auburn University professor who tweeted anti-police profanity was castigated by the school, who labeled his actions as “inexcusable and completely antithetical to the Auburn creed.”
Hired as a part-time lecturer of American literature and composition, Jesse Goldberg later locked his tweets from being seen publicly. However, WRBL reported that his social media pages were rife with anti-police views.
According to WBRL:
“F*ck every single cop. Every single one,” read one of Goldberg’s tweets, according to the station. “The only ethical choice for any cop to make at this point is to refuse to do their job and quit. The police do not protect people. They protect capital. They are instruments of violence on behalf of capital.”
The resulting furor over an Auburn University lecturer behaving in such a way was comforting to those in law enforcement. After Alabama-based conservative media outlet Yellowhammer News shared the tweet in July, angry twitter users said Goldberg should never teach at Auburn, and even made violent and targeted threats to Goldberg.
Even President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted to his 5.4 million Twitter followers “This is what’s happening on college campuses around our country. The liberal, anti-American-values egg heads already took over the Ivy League. Now they’re gunning for middle America.”
This is what’s happening on college campuses around our country. The liberal, anti-American-values egg heads already took over the Ivy League. Now they’re gunning for middle America.
Auburn professor: ‘F*** every single cop’ – Yellowhammer News https://t.co/xsZ7EMJcH1
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 30, 2020
Auburn officials, despite labeling Goldberg’s comments on social media as hate speech, took the easy road that undoubtedly would land them with the fewest enemies, and lawsuits. Instead of terminating Goldberg, the University relieved him of his teaching duties but maintained his contract as a visiting research fellow.
As a graduate student at Cornell, Goldberg previously taught writing seminars on topics such as “The Legal Life of American Racism,” and “Race, Law, and the Black Lives Matter Movement.”
In December 2019, Cassie Fambro of NBC15 News reported that anti-cop rhetoric in Alabama was impacting the profession in the state.
Fambro reported that according to the Mobile Police Academy Director James Barber in December 2019, the increasing negative reaction to law enforcement officers resulted in difficulty in recruiting and keeping those who defend the law.
“We were unable to reach our recruiting goals here in Mobile to fill the academy classes, and even when we do, there is difficulty retaining officers,” said Barber. The academy is one of four in the state.
Director Barber said:
“The strange trend we’ve seen in this country is the so called war on cops that rather than being shot at responding to a robbery, we are shot at for wearing a uniform,”
It is no wonder that talented and capable candidates are no longer interested in law enforcement. In an industry long populated by officers with a familial history of service to the badge, former military and compassionate individuals, officers now face public derision, ceaseless judging of their every action, and personal danger to them, their families and their loved ones.