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Tag: law enforcement officer oaths

Law Enforcement Officers Must Disobey Unlawful Orders

Retired Sheriff Richard Mack is founder and president of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. He was interviewed by Dr. Joseph Mercola and some of the discussion included the sheriffs’ oath to obey the U.S. Constitution, especially in regards to the unconstitutional orders that mayors and governors have been inflicting on their respective citizens, i.e. serfs, to wear masks, socially distance or be forbidden to gather in groups of certain numbers.

Sheriff Mack mentions the importance of the officials’ oath to the U.S. Constitution (and to their respective state constitutions).

Law enforcement officers recite several different oaths when they are sworn in, I believe.

According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor reads: “On my honor, I will never betray my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always maintain the highest ethical standards and uphold the values of my community, and the agency I serve.”

The city of Phoenix law enforcement officers, for instance, also recite the following oath: “I (state your name), do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of the State of Arizona, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and defend them against enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge, the duties of a peace officer, to the best of my ability, so help me God.”

Many U.S. local law enforcement officers recite the same or similar oaths.

And when it comes to the U.S. military, as I wrote in this article,

All U.S. military enlistees swear or affirm an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” to “bear true faith and allegiance to the same … according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice…”

Now, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or Title 10 U.S. Code Chapter 47, indicates that military personnel must obey “lawful” orders. For example, if accused of “willfully disobeying a lawful command of his superior commissioned officer,” a serviceman may be punished accordingly. And if accused of “willfully disobeying the lawful order of a warrant officer, noncommissioned officer, or petty officer,” a serviceman may be punished accordingly. And the law specifically states that one who “violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation,” or who has “knowledge of any other lawful order issued by a member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order,” the serviceman may be punished accordingly.

Note how military personnel must obey “lawful” orders. Therefore they are not legally obligated to obey unlawful orders, by superior officers, or even by the President of the United States.

Of course, as I also noted, that would mean that all U.S. government officials, law enforcement officials and U.S. military personnel who swore an oath to support, defend and obey the U.S. Constitution are obligated to support, defend and obey ALL parts of the Constitution. And I believe that would especially apply to the Bill of Rights, the first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which recognize some of the rights that people naturally have prior to the formation of the government that may not be violated by government officials.

In the aforementioned interview of Sheriff Richard Mack, Sheriff Mack states, “The place we start is the Declaration of Independence … So, we teach all that…And then we go into the Bill of Rights. I’m telling you, if our peace officers in this country understand that quote, ‘To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men,’ right from the Declaration of Independence, we find what the proper role of government is, and that is to secure God given rights, natural rights, our innate rights. That is the job of every peace officer in this country.”

That means that our government police and other officials may not violate our rights to the freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom from religion, the right to assembly and the right to criticize the government, the right of self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms, the right to be secure in our homes, persons, papers and effects, the right to be free from suspicion-less searches and seizures, the right to due process, the right to be free from government stealing our property, the right to be protected from false accusation with the right to face one’s accuser and require that accusers present evidence against the accused, the right to trial by a jury of one’s peers, the right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment, etc.

The Bill of Rights also includes the 9th and 10th Amendments.

The Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

In my view, we have many rights besides the ones I just mentioned, too many to be specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights. All those more specific rights are within the general category of self-ownership, and are under the general rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

And the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” (See the Tenth Amendment Center.)

Now, while Sheriff Mack referred to the mask mandates being unconstitutional especially because they are not actual laws but only “executive orders” by governors and mayors, and therefore should not be enforced by law enforcement officers, I wanted to briefly address the riots, assaults, acts of arson and looting in the cities that are referred to by very dishonest people in politics and the media as “peaceful protests” regardless of the rioters’ destroying those cities.

If a mayor, governor, or even a police chief orders a law enforcement officer to “stand down,” and not arrest someone clearly seen committing criminal acts of property destruction, assaulting others, setting fires to buildings, looting and stealing, then clearly such a “stand down” order is an unlawful order, because it is telling officers to stand by and be a witness to crimes but not intervene, thus making the officer aiding and abetting such criminal activities, in my view.

Such an officer obeying unlawful orders is thus violating at the very least the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor, which I quoted above, and will repeat here: “On my honor, I will never betray my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always maintain the highest ethical standards and uphold the values of my community, and the agency I serve.”

I will leave it up to you to determine whether a law enforcement officer is violating his oaths by standing by and not arresting rioters who are clearly engaged in violent, criminal activities, hurting people and destroying property and burning down buildings and businesses and stealing away the livelihoods of the people who own and built those businesses and employ others in the community.

And in regards to police chiefs, mayors, governors or the President of the United States issuing unlawful, unconstitutional orders for law enforcement officers or other government officials which violate the constitutionally-protected rights of the people, the Oath Keepers, an organization of current and former military personnel and law enforcement officers, lists the following unlawful, unconstitutional orders they pledge to not obey (each item continues with a historical context on that page):

1. We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people…

2. We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects – such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons…

3. We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal…

4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor…

5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union…

6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps…

7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext…

8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control” during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war…

9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever…

10. We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances…

And that declaration of disobeying unlawful orders applies whether such orders are issued by superior officers such as police chiefs, or executives such as mayors, governors, or the President of the United States.

Law enforcement officers are obligated to obey the Constitution above obeying the President and other officers.