Convicted Killer Who is Now Police Chief
Like many third-world countries, Arkansas is a beautiful place inhabited by lovely people who are burdened with an extravagantly corrupt ruling class. This helps explain, but by no means does it justify, the fact that the minuscule town of Sulphur Springs, Arkansas now has a convicted killer as its police chief.
In January 2010, Coleman Brackney, at the time an officer in the department that menaces nearby Bella Vista, murdered a man named James Ahern following a high-speed chase. After trapping Ahern’s vehicle and then pounding on his window, Brackney shot him six times – the last time in the back. Brackney claimed that Ahern – who had a record of trivial and petty offenses, including the non-crime of “resisting arrest” – attempted to run him over after the chase had ended. This was a lie, of course: The dashcam video documented that Brackney was never in danger.
To paraphrase Albert Nock’s deathless insight, government police forces don’t exist to eliminate crime, but rather to enforce a government monopoly on crime.By any honest definition, this was an act of murder. Yet Brackney was prosecuted for “negligent homicide” – a charge that assumes that the officer, who shot Ahern six times at point-blank range, including once in the back, did not intend to kill the victim. He was sentenced to a single month in the Benton County Jail and fined $1,000. The families of the victim were given a $20,000 settlement by the county.
After Brackney was released, his criminal record was expunged. Last April, the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement – a regulatory body that enforces less rigorous professional standards than whatever body sanctions professional wrestling referees – reinstated Brackney’s “peace officer” certification. All that he needed now was a job opening – and one was soon created in Sulphur Springs.
Between late 2010 and March 25 of this year, residents of Sulphur Springs had known the singular blessing of living in a community devoid of police. It is an abuse of language to refer to Sulphur Springs as a “town”; as of the last census, its population was about 500 people, and it had no measurable crime rate. There hasn’t been a murder in Sulphur Springs in recent memory. By hiring a murderer as police chief, the people who presume to rule that tiny village managed to handle both the supply and demand side of law enforcement, as it were.
“I told the guys the day I left I would be back,” gloated Brackney in a local TV news interview, displaying the gift for self-preoccupation that typifies his caste. “You put the uniform back on and you look at yourself in the mirror, and you think, `I’m back.’” Of course, the same cannot be said of Brackney’s victim, for whom the newly enthroned police chief apparently cannot spare a thought.
Indeed, Brackney displays a sociopath’s inability to recognize that he did anything wrong by murdering a man and then perjuring himself in an attempt to conceal the crime.
Like every other police officer who has committed criminal violence against a member of the public, Brackney takes refuge in the casual elitism that is commonplace among those in his profession: “Until you have actually rode [sic] with a police officer or have a family member or a friend that [sic] is a police officer, you don’t really know what that job entails.”
In other words: Until you have been licensed to perform acts of criminal aggression or unless you have a relative thus invested, you have no moral standing to criticize those who use that spurious sanction to commit criminal homicide.