“At about 2 a.m., [former firefighter 24-year-old Samuel] McGraw said he looked outside his home in the Deepwater section of the township and saw flashlights moving around outside near his truck,” nj.com reports. “He said he was nervous, as well as concerned for the safety of his parents, who were also home at the time. He opened the door and said he ‘racked’ his shotgun, hoping the sound would scare away what he thought were intruders.” Only the intruders weren’t intruders per se. In fact, the lights outside . . .
were not from an intruder. It was the police.
Officers were called to the area by reports of a disorderly person at nearby bar.
Pennsville Police Chief Allen Cummings — who was a lieutenant at the time of the incident — said McGraw was not a suspect in that investigation, but officers were in the area of his home while looking for the other man.
Searching in an adjacent yard, police said they heard a man yell toward them demanding that they get away from his truck, according to Cummings. When they looked over, police said McGraw was on his porch, allegedly pointing a shotgun at them.
McGraw was placed under arrest and charged with the weapon offenses. He was released on $2,500 bail.
Of course, once the cops cooled-off a bit and realized that they’d arrested an American exercising his natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms in defense of innocent life and private property, all charges were dropped. McGraw took some good-natured pictures with the arresting officers, who shook his hand and promised to keep an eye on Mr. McGraw’s family on his behalf. Not.
After a year of waiting and a five-day jury trial in Superior Court in which he was found not guilty of both charges on March 11, McGraw said he is still having trouble getting his life back to normal.
“My employer at the auto parts store where I work has been supportive,” he said. “But a lot of other people think that just being charged means you must have done something wrong.”
Nice. But not as not nice as the Pennsville Police Chief’s casual dismissal of the injustice done to Mr. McGraw and his good name. [Click here for a video of the Chief’s remarks.]
Chief Cummings said that while such verdicts can be for police to accept, they can’t dwell on the decisions of the court system.
“The jury makes a decision, and it is what it is,” he said. “That’s the way this job is. We still have to do our job no matter what the outcome.”
However, Cummings said the whole thing could have been avoided.
“Instead of taking this into his own hands, he could have picked up the phone and called 9-1-1,” he said. “They would have told him it was the police outside his house…
“If the community had more knowledge about gun laws, we could solve these problems. It’s a shame it happened the way it did.”
No mention of the police having more knowledge about Americans’ Constitutional rights, then. This is my surprised face. As for Chief Cummings’ “next time call 9-1-1” advice and his insinuation that Mr. McGraw is some kind of vigilante, I suggest that the Chief is both a symptom of NJ’s not-so-crypto-fascism and its instrument.