In a special hearing on Thursday, Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharret declared that the commitment order granted to federal authorities for the arrest of Brandon Raub was invalid. Raub had made statements on his Facebook page in regards to the U.S. government's involvement with 9-11 and calls for revolution, including claiming that people would come to his door to get him and that would spark it. Well authorities did show up and take him without charging him with a crime and held him against his will for psychiatric evaluation. But a Judge gave a court order to release Raub stating that his civil rights were violated.
According to court documents, a swift evaluation by social worker Michael Campbell determined Raub’s involuntary admission. The following day, a magistrate Michael S. Znotens ordered his detention at John Randolph Hospital. Raub was evaluated for an additional 15 minutes by Dr. James A. Correll and later ordered by Special Justice Walter Douglass Stoke to remain for 30 days at VA Hospital in Salem, VA.
John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil rights organization, rushed to Raub’s defense, filing multiple motions later denied, including a plea preventing Raub’s transfer away from family and legal counsel. Once denied, another appeal noting Raub’s initial detention orders did not follow the law Chesterfield PD was filed.
Judge Sharret agreed the arrest and detention actions were illegal and will request Raub’s discharge. As the Richmond-Times Dispatch reports, he was shocked by the failure of the magistrate to include in the order any grounds for holding Raub.
John Whitehead, of the Rutherford Institute, said, “The initial order was rubber-stamped. The special justice is very old. He had trouble hearing Brandon. He brought into the courtroom a personal cassette player – we tried to listen to it and you can hardly hear what's being said. This is the so-called judge – he's a lawyer, not a real judge – it's like what you would see in a bad movie."
“There's a system here that is corrupt. And this guy is caught in it," Whitehead told Business Insider. "I'm friends with the local police; I could call them right now and probably get you committed if you were in Virginia. They can arrive at your door based on somebody's testimony or your Facebook page and take you away to a mental hospital.”
Whitehead went on to state that some 20,000 people are committed annually in Virgina alone! “That means a lot of people are disappearing under the pretext of mental illness."
With all of this that took place, Raub was finally order released. The Rutherford Institute sent out a statement concerning the Judge's ruling:
In an unexpected ruling handed down today by Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett, the judge dismissed the government’s case against Brandon Raub, the Marine who was arrested by local police and FBI agents, detained in a psychiatric ward and forced to undergo psychological evaluations based solely on the controversial nature of lines from song lyrics, political messages and virtual card games which he posted to his private Facebook page. Judge Sharrett dismissed the petition for involuntary commitment on the grounds that the petition “is so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.” Raub is expected to be released immediately.
“This is a great victory for the First Amendment and the rule of law,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Brandon Raub was arrested with no warning, targeted for doing nothing more than speaking out against the government, detained against his will, and isolated from his family, friends and attorneys. These are the kinds of things that take place in totalitarian societies. Today, at least, Judge Allan Sharrett proved that justice can still prevail in America.”
Brandon Raub, a former Marine who has served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was detained by FBI agents and police officers at his home in Chesterfield County based upon the nature of content posted to his Facebook page in recent months. Like many Facebook users, Raub uses his Facebook page to post song lyrics and air his political opinions, as well as engage in virtual online games with other users. On Thursday, August 16, 2012, police and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s home, asking to speak with him about his Facebook posts. They did not provide Raub with a search warrant. Raub was cooperative and agreed to speak with them. Without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, law enforcement officials then handcuffed Raub and transported him first to the police headquarters, then to John Randolph Medical Center, where he was held against his will due to alleged concerns that his Facebook posts were “terrorist in nature.” Outraged onlookers filmed the arrest and posted the footage to YouTube.
In a hearing before Special Justice Walter Douglas Stokes on August 20, government officials again pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the sole reason for their concern and for his continued incarceration. Ignoring Raub’s explanations about the fact that the FB posts were being read out of context and his attorney’s First Amendment defense, Stokes sentenced the former Marine to up to 30 days’ further confinement in a psychiatric ward and signed a court order for Raub’s involuntary admission to the Veterans Hospital in Salem. In coming to Raub’s defense, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute challenged the actions of Chesterfield County, Va. as procedurally improper, legally unjustified, and in violation of Raub’s First Amendment rights. Institute attorneys appeared before the Circuit Court on August 23 to request that Raub be transferred back to John Randolph Medical Center while Institute attorneys attempted to secure his release. However, Judge Allan Sharrett declared the government’s case to be lacking in factual allegations and ordered Raub immediately released.
In large measure Raub's outrage was directed towards the Federal Reserve, not the federal government. The Federal Reserve is not a part of the federal government. Hopefully, Brandon Raub will be left alone and should return to his home shortly, if he has not already arrived there.
Other stories are now beginning to come out of similar incidents, especially highlighting "mental defects" and it will only gather more steam as both the presumptive nominee from the Republican party, as well as, the current occupant of the White House support measures just like the ones imposed on Brandon Raub in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is exactly the kind of thing that NDAA promotes.
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