A Florida sheriff in Liberty County may face up to 5 years in prison simply because he “believes in the 2nd amendment”. He was arrested and put into his own jail after releasing a man who was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
The arrest came after Sheriff Nicholas Finch was accused of “covering up” the arrest of Floyd Eugene Parrish. Parrish was arrested after a traffic stop and the police officer found a .25 pistol in Parrish’s pocket and a holstered revolver in the front seat. Since Parrish did not have a concealed carry permit he was arrested.
The sheriff went down to the jail to speak with Parrish and released him without any charges, while giving him back his firearms as well.
Parrish’s name was whited out of the jail log sheet, but investigators say that neither the affidavit nor the computer record of Parrish’s arrest are recognized in court, because they are not considered usable documents.
Sheriff Finch’s attorney said that Finch is not covering anything up or trying to deny the facts saying,
“The records at the jail show exactly what happened in this case and the records speak the truth. The sheriff looked at the facts and said ‘I believe in the Second Amendment and we’re not going to charge him.’ That is not misconduct at all. That is within the Sheriff’s prerogative whether to charge someone or not.”
Sheriff Finch is charged with one count of official misconduct even though the man arrested was never booked. He was merely being detained in a holding cell while the booking documents were being worked up by the jail staff. A Sheriff is within his rights to choose not to formally charge a detainee.
TheNewAmerican.com recently had an exclusive interview with Sheriff Finch that you can read below:
The New American: Sheriff, thanks so much for talking to me. How are you and your family holding up?
Sheriff Nick Finch: We’re doing fine. We’re doing as well as we can under the circumstances.
TNA: Tell us a little bit about how you became sheriff of Liberty County.
Sheriff: After serving 20 years in the military — I enlisted when I was 19 — I moved to Liberty County to be close to my wife’s family. In 2008, I ran for sheriff the first time as a Republican. I came in third, but got over 500 votes. After working for a while as an investigator in the Florida Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s office, I contacted the man who was the sheriff of Liberty County and asked if there was anything I could do for him. I worked for two years as a room deputy and I could not believe the sorts of things that went on there. I would shake my head everyday at what I saw. The sheriff’s office was rife with corruption. So, I decided to run again in 2012, but this time without party affiliation. I believe both parties have lost their way. This was unheard of. To everybody’s surprise but my own, I won the election by a narrow margin and was sworn in. This wasn’t the first time I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and ever since that day I first took the oath when I joined the military at 19, I have never violated that oath and I never will.
TNA: What was the reaction to your unprecedented election?
Sheriff: Well, the local politicians didn’t like it because I was beholden to nobody. I accepted one $500 donation to my campaign and that was from a family member. I financed the rest entirely out of my own pocket. I don’t owe anybody or any party anything and local politicians don’t like that. My only obligation is to the Constitution and I will continue to act according to my oath and that duty.
TNA: Do you think your non-partisan and self-made status is behind your arrest and suspension?
Sherrif: I imagine so. Local politicians wanted me gone because they can’t control me. I don’t know who Governor Scott’s advisors are, but they are not advising him very well. This is a political witch hunt.
TNA: Did you vote for Governor Scott?
Sheriff: No, I didn’t. I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, I’m just a man who believes in the Constitution and believes that it is the highest law in the land.
TNA: What about the allegations made against you in the arresting affidavit?
Sheriff:There is no truth to it. I can’t say much about the specific events until the criminal case against me is over.
TNA: What can you tell me about the man, Floyd Eugene Parrish, that you released from the holding cell?
Sheriff: I didn’t know him before I saw him in the jail that day. I know a member of his family, but not well. When I ordered him released from the holding cell I say that he has a right to carry a gun under the Second Amendment, and so I let him go.
TNA: What prompted you to take that step?
Sheriff: My beliefs and my stand on the Second Amendment.
TNA: Going forward, is there a time you might give up this case?
Sheriff: Never! I will take this case all the way to the Supreme Court.
TNA: Are you surprised by the outpouring of support from around the country?
Sheriff: Yes, I am. I am so humbled and grateful for everybody’s support. As I talk to people around Liberty County, it seems that everybody is up in arms.
TNA: Given what has happened, being arrested and suspended without pay, would you go back and let Parrish be booked into jail?
Sheriff: Absolutely not. I did nothing wrong. I violated no state law and I upheld the Constitution. What I did was based on the Constitution and my commitment to the Second Amendment and I would do it all again.
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