Sheriff Ackal Facing Barney Fife Envy
July 22, 2016 (Fault Lines) — If free speech has consequences, Iberia Parish, Louisiana Sheriff Louis Ackal is feeling them right now. After telling the world he’d like to shoot a “Jew Bastard” prosecutor between his “Jewish Eyes,” he’s now without a gun and feeling a tad insecure as a result.
Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal, who was indicted early this year and prohibited from carrying a weapon, is asking Federal District Judge Donald Walter to give his gun access back in light of the recent killings of police in Baton Rouge and Dallas.
Ackal, who was indicted in U.S. federal court for allegedly ordering the beatings of multiple pre-trial inmates, filed an appeal Monday to allow him to carry a gun, and argued that as the parish’s chief law enforcement officer and a 50-year veteran, he feels like a “sitting duck” without one.
In case you’re wondering, this is the same Sheriff who Fault Lines Contributor Greg Prickett exposed having inmates grabbed by his deputies, the “Bayou Boys,” to the prison’s chapel for a good “come to Jesus” session because no cameras were present in the prison chapel to record the beatings. After an indictment in federal court, Ackal allegedly met with D.C. based Justice Department lawyer Mark Blumberg, and wasn’t entirely happy with the way the meeting went down.
According to a transcript of portions of the recording filed into the court record, Ackal made reference to “this sorry son-of-a-bitch Jew bastard in Washington, saying he is going to send me to a federal pen.”
Ackal also talks about how prosecutors discussed a possible deal with the sheriff.
“You know about these people. You can give them to us,” Ackal said, recalling what federal prosecutors told him. “I said the only thing I’m gonna give you — f*****g shoot you right between your g*******d Jewish-eyes-look-like-opossum bastard.”
It’s hard to find a statement more deserving of the label “Trigger Warning.” After issuing an alleged “threat” to a US Department of Justice prosecutor, the judge overseeing his case prohibited Ackal from carrying a weapon. According to Sheriff Ackal, the “prohibition” wasn’t actually a judicial order. It was more of an “understanding,” and with law enforcement tensions at all time highs the “understanding” means Sheriff Ackal can’t perform his job duties as required.
The recently re-elected sheriff said his being denied the right to carry is also a violation of due process, and that going to crime scenes and calls unarmed can put his life in danger. Prosecutors asked a federal district judge to forbid Ackal from possessing any weapons while he awaits trial on charges accusing him of telling guards to assault jail inmates.
That prohibition, Ackal said, was supposed to be merely an understanding and not to be announced in open court.
“It’s a right that a police officer has,” he said. “I’ve only been indicted. I’m supposed to be ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ In federal court, it feels like I’m guilty until proven innocent.”
One can only wonder if Sheriff Ackal is experiencing any sort of empathy for those locked in Iberia Parish’s jail cells now that he’s bee stripped of his sidearm. Never you mind Sheriff Ackal’s notions of “due process” are already satisfied through notice his firearm was to be taken and having an opportunity to be heard through the current motion filed in federal court. He must have his gun, and to hell with any judge’s opinion.
But what about the prosecutor facing gunfire from an angry Louisiana Sheriff? Doesn’t he have an interest in this case? Can Mark Blumberg reasonably perceive Sheriff Ackal’s statements as an intent to do him harm? Nonsense, says Ackal. He never meant it in the first place.
Ackal has since contended that he wasn’t being serious when he threatened the prosecutor.
“I have no intention of doing something dumb like attacking a prosecutor,” he said. “I’ve been working closely with prosecutors in the courts for years.”
One wonders if this is a case where the government’s own “trust us” line will actually pan out as a valid excuse. In the meantime, Iberia Parish’s Sheriff is close to Barney Fife’s level of firepower. The rumblings in Iberia Parish seem to indicate we’re all better off as a result.