I spoke with Trent Humphries today. Trent is the leader of the Tucson Tea Party organization. On Saturday Trent was threatened with death by far left activist and unimpeachable voice of the left Eric Fuller at a taped ABC town hall meeting in Tucson. Fuller was heard screaming “whores” at the audience as he was dragged from the event and arrested. ABC and Christine Amanpour decided this was not newsworthy enough to show to their Sunday audience, after all, it was just a tea party conservative who was threatened with death.
Fortunately, the arrest was aired by other more credible news organizations.
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This morning Trent Humphries released this statement.
The events of the ABC townhall broadcast Saturday, January 15th have been widely reported and are mostly accurate. An individual, James Eric Fuller, a victim in the recent and terrible shooting that occurred this past week, interrupted my comments with boos and catcalls before finally shouting, “You’re dead!” while taking a picture of me. Believing I had misheard him, I finished my remarks and sat down as the program ended. I was immediately rushed out of the venue by Pima County Sheriff’s Deputies without observing Mr. Fuller being detained or removed.
In the parking lot, the deputies asked if I was willing to press charges. Because I had noticed that Fuller was sitting in the front row, I assumed that he was closely involved in last week’s tragedy and was reluctant to immediately seek legal recourse. The Deputies relayed to me that even if I chose not to immediately press charges, action would likely be taken anyway due to the high profile nature of the event and the recent events involving the shooter, Jared Loughner. My cooperation would assure that Mr. Fuller could be taken into custody and referred to mental health professionals immediately. This appeared to be the prudent course of action, so I agreed to let the Sheriff’s department take Mr. Fuller into custody.
When speaking to detectives later in the day, they again asked about my willingness to press charges. I asked about the status of Mr. Fuller. They confirmed that he had been involuntarily committed and would be under observation for at least 72 hours. I followed up on this because I was concerned that Mr. Fuller would be released before I could file an order of protection (due to the Holiday.)
I am at a conundrum regarding whether or not to file charges. Based on the lessons that we have just learned about past law enforcement contacts with Jared Loughner and how he was never “flagged” because no legal complaints were ever filed, I do believe that care should be taken before dismissing all charges against Mr. Fuller. Additionally, a large portion of the discussion that took place at the town hall involved mental health and making sure that as a community and law enforcement we have adequate care for those with such issues.
It has just come to my attention that a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department made the following statement on Saturday evening after the town hall, “If Humphries decides not to press charges, the charges will be dropped”. At no point was this information ever related to me before the statement was given to the press. I was actually led to believe the opposite. It was my understanding that because of the very public nature of the offense that charges would be filed regardless of my participation. Indeed, it is up to Pima County Prosecutor Barbara Lawall, and not the Sheriff’s Department, to decide that charges will be “dropped”. Like so much other misinformation reported this past week, the statement from the Sheriff’s office would appear to be an error of the press or another grave misunderstanding on the Sheriff”s part.
I have nothing but sadness for the injuries and trauma that Mr Fuller has experienced due to the horrific event that killed several of our community members and left dozens injured. I have been informed through legal counsel that Mr. Fuller cannot be compelled to receive treatment without an ongoing legal complaint or conviction. If he truly is in need of mental health help, I want that to be based on the opinion of experts and our law enforcement professionals and not on whether I am willing to press charges.
It would be very unfortunate if it is true that the decision of how best to proceed with Mr. Fuller is solely mine. I am not adequately prepared to determine whether or not Mr Fuller is a danger to himself or the community. I do not have access to the mental health reports, prior records, interviews, or likely any evidence gathered on Mr. Fuller to this point. Nor am I qualified to determine if he is indeed a danger to the community or himself. Ultimately this is not a decision I feel comfortable making based on my limited experience with this gentleman or the facts I have.
My desire is that Mr. Fuller receive whatever help he needs in order to return as a reasoned member of society that poses no danger to me or my family or anyone else. If my dropping the criminal charges can accomplish that, I am willing and eager to do so. If, however, pressing charges guarantees that he will have the care and observation required to overcome his desire to do me or anyone else harm because of political beliefs, I will proceed with them, such as I can. It is my hope that the Sheriff’s Department will work with me to do what is best for Mr. Fuller and act in a manner that will help keep my family and the rest of Pima County’s citizens safe.