Editor:

Imagine: It's your 65th Birthday and you are celebrating. You buy steaks and invite three friends over. A San Juan County Sheriff's officer parks in your driveway, your gate is locked. Your friend goes to see what he wants. They are looking for Sandra. There is no Sandra there, they jump over the fence to check. You ask them "what the f*** they want on your private property." "l have a warrant for Sandra." You tell him

to leave unless he has a warrant to search your property, Sandra is not there. Your back hurts and you rub it, the sheriff grabs your arms and tries to cuff you. The sheriff tries to put you down, you take a swing at him, at this point what have you got to lose? The Sheriff shoves your face into the gravel. You are tazed. You hear someone yell "Don't taze him again he has a bad heart." The hand cuffs are snapped on. You realize that blood is running into your eyes and down your neck. Your head hurts, then it doesn't, you can't speak. Someone takes your pulse. Tests are run, 14 stitches are made and you wake

up in the hospital. When you are released you leave with a $30,000 bill. No charges have been filed.

Seem unbelievable to you? Does it seem that this could not happen to a law-abiding citizen? Does this seem like it might happen elsewhere? This happened to Ralph Cruz. a 65 year old citizen who was minding his business celebrating his birthday on his property. He was assaulted and abused by a deputy sheriff who should never have been on Mr. Cruz's property without being invited or having a search warrant.

Mr. Cruz does not want our county to turn into another place where police officers are shooting suspects and mentally challenged people. He does not want a county where sheriff officers are not respected nor does he want a county where officers do not respect it's citizens. As citizens we have protection against unlawful search and seizure. Mr. Cruz asked the officer to leave and his wishes should have been respected.

When police violate our rights is it any wonder that we lose respect for them? Stop this now before it is too late, before more Ralph Cruz's are disrespected.

 

RALPH MEYERS

San Juan County