Hunt Country Sheriff Randy Meeks held a press conference Wednesday to address the viral video of a 38-week pregnant woman being repeatedly punched by one of his deputies while serving a CPS writ of attachment, only to leave the media with more questions than answers.
Meeks read aloud his prepared press release to a room full of mainstream press and a lone PINAC journalist, recapping what lead up to punches being thrown and the actions – or lack-thereof – that he has taken to remedy the situation for all parties involved.
Meeks explained that after first viewing the video, he met with his command staff and instructed his department to conduct an ‘administrative investigation.’ Meanwhile, he has called for the Texas Rangers, a major division of the Texas Department of Public Safety who often lead major criminal investigations, to conduct their own independent investigation. At no time did Meeks ever condemn the behavior of his unnamed deputy, saying he is waiting for the investigation to be completed before considering a formal reprimand.
In fact, he made it clear that if his deputy did “nothing wrong”, then he will “back him 100%.” He conveniently left out the part about what he plans to do if his deputy is criminally charged.
However, in what appears to be an amendment to the original press release, Meeks offers “Two Narratives” to which he believes one deserves more discussion. After admitting that the first, most widely adopted narrative that “Hunt County Officers Beat Pregnant Woman” is true, he decided to inject a second narrative for which he has no evidence, nor has anyone involved, including the officers, have suggested.
We have all seen the 31 second video and the narratives reads: “Hunt County Officers Beat Pregnant Woman” and we can draw a conclusion by looking at that video and we can say, yes, it appears that the deputy is beating a woman.
Another narrative could read: “Pregnant woman attempts to take Deputy’s gun”. Now, you can draw a conclusion by looking at the 31 second clip that could be a possibility? I believe that we can say that is a possibility. Now, will most folks look at that possibility? Probably not.
So, which narrative is correct? I don’t know…I wasn’t there…That is for the Texas Rangers to determine. But, let me say this. This is a lot more evidence out there than that 31 second clip. I believe, before judgement is rendered, the whole truth needs to be examined and a decision made as to what is the facts of this case.
So, what are my actions going to be? Nothing at this point of the investigation. Once the investigation is over and evidence shows that my deputy violated policy and/or committed a crime, then he will be prosecuted to the fullest if a criminal act occurred.
If the evidence shows that my deputy did nothing wrong, then I will back him 100%
Shortly after the Sheriff makes his wild claim that Deanna Robinson, while being restrained against a kitchen counter by two large officers in front of a group of eye witnesses, ‘possibly’ reached for his deputies gun, the reporters immediately call him out. One reporter asks.. “is it your understanding that is what the deputy told your investigator what happened?” He answers…
That is not my understanding, no.
It appears that Sheriff Meeks, made famous a few years ago for calling 911 to dispatch deputies to his house to move his furniture during a rain storm, is literally offering a false narrative to grab headlines and blame the victim for inciting her own assault. The fact that the sheriff would float this idea after no one involved in the altercation remotely suggested such a thing is disingenuous and could be considered defamation under Texas law:
Sec. 73.001. ELEMENTS OF LIBEL. A libel is a defamation expressed in written or other graphic form that tends to blacken the memory of the dead or that tends to injure a living person’s reputation and thereby expose the person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or financial injury or to impeach any person’s honesty, integrity, virtue, or reputation or to publish the natural defects of anyone and thereby expose the person to public hatred, ridicule, or financial injury.
I was first made aware about the sheriff’s press conference by Deanna Robinson herself and she noted that ‘only credentialed media was allowed’ to attend. Any casual reader of PINAC will understand that this very website came into existence by challenging the idea that only large corporate owned media outlets are allowed access to record and report on public officials. Since it was clear that the sheriff’s office didn’t want anyone who might challenge their story in attendance, I gassed up my truck and drove an hour down the road to Greenville. Upon arriving to the press entrance, I was met by a man who asked who I was with. After telling the man I was an independent journalist, he said I wasn’t allowed to attend and referred me to his boss, Chief Deputy Oxford.
It was obvious yesterday that William “Buddy” Oxford is not an avid reader of PINAC, nor does he understand the independent media revolution taking place since he attempted to ban me from attending the press conference since “he’s not familiar with my news medium.”
As you can see in the video below, I challenge Buddy on the idea of “media”, and assert that any citizen can be the media and it’s not up to him to decide who can and can not attend. After presenting the question, “why would you want to censor and independent journalist who’s just trying to capture a story?” The video is clear, he couldn’t even come up with a good excuse and his own conscience forced him into allowing me access to the ‘exclusive’ press conference.
I’m often commended for my demeanor while confronting these bureaucrats in situations where its really easy to lose emotional control by raising your voice and lobbing obscenities. I suppose that my laid-back personality is an asset in these type of situations, but knowing your rights is the most important asset that you can carry around at all times, in your mind. I knew good and well that I had a right to setup by camera in that press room Wednesday. It was just a matter of convincing the gatekeepers in person, or later in court if it came to that.
My name is Brett Sanders and I have been an avid reader of PINAC since I discovered Jeff Gray on YouTube several years ago. I have made the slow transition from a consumer of media to actually producing some content over the last year or so. I started on YouTube by producing a Jeff Gray inspired series that features an array of ‘first amendment audits’ some of which have been featured on PINAC. I am an avid activist for a myriad array of liberty oriented causes and hold a special place in my heart for the police state. I would like to thank Carlos Miller for all the hard work that he has poured into this website, as it has helped awaken me from my stupor. I look forward to contributing to PINAC in the future as a Texas-based correspondent.
Be sure to follow me on twitter to get updates on all my adventures. Videos of the press conference as well as the sheriff’s office trying to ban me from entering the press conference are posted below.