How would you feel if you were babysitting your grandchild on Saturday night so that your 20-year-old son, who is working a double shift for minimum wage in a downtown tourism-driven business, tells you that he is not coming back to pick up his daughter until 10:30 – 11:00 p.m. at night?
Then, at 10:15 p.m., your phone rings and you hear his voice on the other end of the call. He begins telling you that he was jumped by a gang of downtown thugs and his tooth had been knocked out. As he continues, you get a sinking feeling in your chest. Still in shock, you are not sure that you understand what is being described to you next. Your son is in a panic.
He puts a female officer, Michal Ochkie, on the phone. Maybe now you will get some answers.
Unfortunately, as the St Augustine Police Officer starts explaining, you start to realize that the department has taken your son into custody. An officer with the unaccredited agency, with an unelected “chief”, who answers directly to the city manager, who is an uncertified, unqualified bureaucrat with no law enforcement experience, has charged your son and placed him under arrest.
Sounding as if he were in a panic, the victim explains to his mother that he just “got jumped” and that there is a video surveillance camera that recorded the attack. Despite his obvious injuries that required him to be cleared through Flagler Hospital, police officers had cuffed him and put him in the back of the patrol car.
As I read the notes on this police interaction and the recent arrest of the Parham twins in the plaza, I am wanting to ask what is the true motivation of our local police.