Clay County Nebraska Sheriff Harasses Meat Industry Investigator

The following story comes from the Submission Page.


While investigating the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay County, Nebraska for breeding techniques to re-engineer farm animals for the meat industry on November 6th, 2015, Sheriff Jeff Franklin of the Clay County Sheriff’s department pulled over a SHARK investigator and accused him of flying a drone on federal property. Sheriff Franklin articulated to him that the sole reason for the stop was the use of a drone.

With absolutely no proof of any wrong doing, Sheriff Franklin thinks he can play security for the meat industry and try to scare and intimidate animal activists. We see similar situations when citizens decide to engage in first amendment audits at federal buildings. While I understand the reasoning by which law enforcement reacts the way they do when a person is standing outside a police station filming without an obvious reason, though I may not agree, I do NOT understand how animal lovers trying to protect against cruelty are any kind of threat to Sheriff Franklin or the animal research center. Sheriff Franklin thinks it’s okay to treat peaceful animals lovers like they are animals themselves. The SHARK investigator was standing on public ground attempting to find any kind proof to help answer some suspicious activity that New York Times wrote about in early January.

SHARK has no direct knowledge or evidence, so far, indicating specifically what happens with the animals. It is the conduct of the sheriff, an obvious puppet of USMARC, which seems to reveal that this place has a LOT to hide. Sheriff Franklin told the investigator that he would have to confiscate the drone if it was flown on federal property and that the FBI was coming to the traffic stop to talk to him. Many minutes after the stop Sheriff Franklin -SHOCKER- changes his story and tells the investigator that he was pulled over for speeding, with only a warning for that ‘crime’ being issued.

Days after the traffic stop Franklin went on a campaign of slander against the peaceful animal activists. On November 13th The Journal Star interviewed Franklin and stated that the sheriff made an accusation that he suspects the animal welfare activists could be connected a string of break-ins and trespasses. Franklin told them, “I would consider this terrorist like activity.”

Franklin is now on record comparing suicide bombing murderers to animals lovers who stand on public ground. Franklin told the World Herald on November 12th, “You have the right to protest peacefully. But when you go to other means, you start damaging, burning, intimidating or threatening, you’ve crossed the line.” Not only does Franklin consider animal activists to be terrorists, he now claims they are arsonists, violent and a threat to humanity.

When SHARK made a public record request of the dash cam video to prove they weren’t speeding, the request took over 20 days despite the states required four day release time maximum. Not surprisingly, the guardian angel Sheriff Franklin, protecting his town from terrorists from his mighty position, accidentally recorded over the dash cam video of that day. I guess I just assume when people are supposedly that much of a violent threat that you wouldn’t delete evidence of their “crime.” But then again, since he claims their only crime was speeding I wonder- when did speeding become terrorism?

In the November 18th edition of the Clay County News Franklin told reporters, “It’s almost a terroristic type approach that this group is bringing to the area.” During the stop Franklin told the investigator that Homeland Security told him to confiscate the drone if it went onto federal property. But when they received the FOIA requested materials including the actual audio recordings between Franklin and Homeland Security, it didn’t go the way Franklin had claimed. In fact Homeland Security told Franklin, and I quote, ” Let him go.”

On December 10th of 2015 the attorney general of Nebraska responded to SHARK and refused to act on any of the wrongdoing by Sheriff Franklin, or even to investigate him. Clearly the good old boys system is alive and well in Nebraska.

The purpose of Sheriff Franklin’s bullying behavior, it seems obvious to me, is to curry favor with the U.S. Animal Research Center or USMARC, who hold a great deal of local and national economic and political power.

“The USMARC is a federally funded facility that conducts horrific experiments on cows, pigs and sheep,” claims Steve Hindi, president of SHARK.

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A portion of the mission statement for the Sheriff’s Department website states, “It is the duty of the sheriff to keep the peace, apprehend criminals and perform other duties as peace officer.” While I actually generally like individual police officers just fine, I do not like the profession itself. The fact of the matter is that anytime a person pays a fine from a violation from law enforcement, that money eventually ends up in the pocket of the ruling elite. If that money went to the homeless or veterans, perhaps I would appreciate the profession much more. I do agree with those who claim that there are relatively only a few bad apples in the profession committing wanton acts of violence. Just as I also believe that there are only a few bad apples at peaceful protests, like those recent examples caught knocking over Christmas trees in Chicago, or the few bad apples who make statements professing a desire for police officers to get killed in the comment sections of police accountability groups online and in social media.

I personally vow to continue writing about, investigating and sharing this story to try to insure that Sheriff Franklin isheld accountable. I would like to extend an offer giving Franklin the opportunity to respond to this article and clear up any confusion or correct any items he might disagree with. I didn’t even waste my time contacting Franklin for the obvious reason that he has made it clear he does not wish to engage in reasonable discussion about it, and instead manages to steer the conversation to hyperbolic accusations with no credible merit. Stay tuned for updates on this story.

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Written and submitted by Ryan Hammer and edited by Joshua Scott Hotchkin.

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