Vet Denied Jury Duty Because He Lawfully Arrived at the Courthouse with a Gun (Video)
Phil Bentz – a Washington veteran and former corrections officer – was called recently for jury duty and set out to fulfill his civic obligation.
Bentz provided his account exclusively to Progressives Today:
I showed up for jury duty and having been a former corrections officer I was well aware that every courthouse is required to have lock boxes available, and I just assumed Chelan County was in compliance with the law so I didn’t give it a second thought. I arrive and couldn’t find any lock boxes so I walked around the property a bit found several county employees to ask, including a couple Sheriff’s Deputies but still wasn’t able to find any lockboxes available to me. I then went up to the Superior Court area to ask the security officer about availability of lock boxes and he just pointed me to some pay lockers that don’t even remotely meet the requirements of the state law. I went back to the security officer and informed him of the state law requirements but wasn’t able to get anywhere. At this time I decided it was time to start recording my interactions for both my own legal protection and to have a record of what their stance was toward the law.
I once again left the security area to make contact with the Sheriff’s office to see if I could get any more information. After getting nowhere I returned to the Superior Court security point, but this time there was the original officer as well as 2 additional corrections officers. This is where my video begins.
I was met with resistance and denial of the law, as well as personal insults calling me things like “douche,” “idiot” and “dirt bag” simply because I was asking for them to obey state law. I was physically grabbed by two officers and taken on an elevator and after we reached the first floor I was physically shoved out of the elevator. I had no choice but to go back because I was summoned to jury duty and didn’t want to be in violation of the law. Upon returning I was informed that I had lost my “privilege of serving on jury duty” because I had asked them to obey state law. I was again physically grabbed and removed from the Superior Court area.
At this point I was able to track down the lead campus security deputy who is in charge of all security at the courthouse. He proceeded to deny that they were in violation of state law by not providing suitable lock boxes, and said they have absolutely no responsibility for keeping or securing weapons. I pulled up the law and read it word for word to him but I was still met with resistance and denial of their responsibility to obey the law. I filed a complaint with the county jail supervisors and received the same response from them. They called the state law “ridiculous” and denied that they had to follow the law. I also complained about the conduct of their officers but they didn’t even have interest in viewing my video.
Every official and county employee I talked to would not even attempt to listen to or acknowledge the law, so I felt I had no choice to make my video public. I am now attempting to get in contact with the Chelan County Sheriff and exploring my legal avenues to find out why my right to serve as a juror has been revoked.
Washington law, section 9.41.300 states:
‘The local legislative authority shall provide either a stationary locked box sufficient in size for pistols and key to a weapon owner for weapon storage, or shall designate an official to receive weapons for safekeeping, during the owner’s visit to restricted areas of the building. The locked box or designated official shall be located within the same building used in connection with court proceedings. The local legislative authority shall be liable for any negligence causing damage to or loss of a weapon either placed in a locked box or left with an official during the owner’s visit to restricted areas of the building.’
Chelan County doesn’t appear to be complying with that law and instead of complying, they’re willing to trample on the rights and obligations of citizens. And the conduct of the security personnel toward a citizen, who simply had a complaint, was downright sickening.