In August of last year, I wrote a post about a video that had been submitted by a Cop Block reader showing a police chief in Bald Knob, Arkansas questioning Richard Chambless, a Second Amendment activist who had been arrested while legally open carrying a hand gun.
During that video, Chief Erek Balentine was very insistent that open carrying actually wasn’t legal in Arkansas and even eventually berated Chambless in an angry outburst toward the end of the interrogation. He also had some sort of issue with the fact Chambless was carrying a police scanner at the time of his arrest, implying that it was an indicator of criminal intentions.
A month later, Chief Balentine resigned, presumably under public pressure as a result of the publicity generated by the video featured in the first post, stating he was in “fear for his family’s safety.” However, this is where things really start to get interesting.
According to Balentine, someone had spray painted “2 Amendment” on both sides of his truck and then lit that truck on fire. Obviously, this was some whacky, extremist gun nut retaliating for Chief Balentine’s arrest of Chambless for something that wasn’t just legal, but was expressly protected within the Constitution. Right?
Now the real truth has come out, though. Former Bald Knob Arkansas Police Chief Erek Ballentine is a big filthy liar and a thief on top of that. And, although this is the least shocking revelation involving this story, he’s just not a very smart or well thought out criminal mastermind, either.
Not only has he joined the ranks of cops who have staged an “attack” against themselves as part of the Fake War On Cops, but he also joined the very crowded ranks of cops who have committed fraud and stole from their own department.
In fact, the entire burned truck incident was intended to somehow distract from the fact that he had stolen a shotgun, which had been donated to the police department for a fundraising auction and then sold it and pocketed the cash. The fraud part of the equation is based on him having filed a insurance claim on the truck he actually burned.
Of course, no story about a criminal cop (I realize that’s a bit redundant and that I’m not supposed to use double negatives) and the Good Cops he works with holding him accountable would be complete without that Bad Apple getting the typical Policeman’s Discount.
After initially being charged with federal felony charges of arson, mail fraud, and possession of a stolen firearm (which he was in possession of because he stole it), Former Chief Balentine was allowed to plead guilty to the single charge of possessing the stolen firearm and promise to pay restitution to Progressive Insurance for the false claim. As part of that deal the Feds agreed not to pursue the more serious charges of arson and fraud.