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Monday, December 7, 2015

Corrected - The Decatur Daily Article – To shoot or not to shoot?

Corrections in Red

Who are the Monday Morning Quarterbacks?  Blakely and Franklin Cornered the 20/20 hindsight market in The Decatur Daily Article published Sunday, December 6, 2015 in regards to the Stevens Standoff.

Before we start this blog on the article mentioned above let me just say first and foremost in the Roger Stevens Standoff situation, the only person who had been mortally injured was Mrs. Kay Stevens the day before the standoff.  Remember Mrs. Stevens?  Her ex-husband allegedly shot her to death.  Kay's divorce was finalized on November 12, 2015.  Roger Stevens threatened to kill her on Friday, night, November 13, 2015.  Kay was shot on Saturday November 14, 2015 at her establishment and later died in Decatur General Hospital.  The standoff occurred later the same day.  Don’t forget Mr. Roger Dale Stevens had previously been charged with Terrorist Threat prior to allegedly killing his wife.  Stevens threatened to kill Kay multiple times before the final fatal shooting in front of Kay’s establishment.  

We agree that Mr. Stevens is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  That doesn’t mean that you go in and take over a standoff and endanger fellow law enforcement officers with grandstanding antics. Our interpretation of The Decatur Daily article is that everyone at the standoff with the exception of Franklin, Blakely, and the alleged shooter believed the Decatur PD and “other agencies” whoever they were was ready to shoot to kill. Isn’t it true that the agencies mentioned in the article were already in place when Dumb and Dumber got there and had the situation under control?

In most situations, we all wish that our elected law enforcement officers would cross the aisle and work together to form a united method to protect and serve their constituencies that elected them into office.  In the case of the Stevens Standoff Sheriff Blakely, the democrat and Ana Franklin, the republican more resembled the characters of Dumb and Dumber.  Their actions could best be described as “HOW NOT TO DEFUSE A STANDOFF”.  How not to piss off the other agencies that were already in place and had the full capability of resolving the standoff without any bloodshed, or partake of whisky, or climbing into a truck with a potentially cold blooded killer. 

Our Opinion.  By reading the Decatur Daily article, you may be led to believe that Blakely and Franklin were first officers on the scene.  Don’t believe that story.  Remember Stevens alledgely told Franklin he was afraid to unlock the truck doors that; he was afraid they may shoot him.  Moving on to the whisky, Blakely only says he asked someone to get a cup of ice.  Let’s assume Stevens was sipping whisky.  Are telling us that you are going to get in the truck with a man that allegedly killed his wife in cold blood, who is sipping whisky in a big rig truck, who may or may not be armed.  How did you determine he was unarmed and not a threat?  Sheriff Franklin, is it because he told you he wasn’t armed while you were on the phone with him?  Could it be that you took his word that he wasn’t armed?  Could it be because you have known Stevens and his family for years?  Did his brother tell you he wasn’t armed?  Let’s get real, the man is accused of the cold blooded murder of his wife the day before. Sheriff Franklin, why don’t you tell Kay Stevens’ family that Roger Stevens isn’t a threat. Continuing on, Franklin pipes in during the interview stating that the decision to try to talk Stevens down came after he told her on the phone that he was afraid the police would kill him.  If that is true, why didn’t you stand down, continue talking to Stevens, and allow the authorities, yes the first responders to do their job.  Talk to the man as long as you like while you wait for the professionals to do their job.  You could have told Stevens anything you wanted to to gain his trust without placing yourselves and the “other agencies” in a dangerous situation. When you all jumped in the truck with Stevens, you actually made the standoff more serious.  Nobody is opposed to negotiating a Standoff.  What we are opposed to is reckless, irresponsible law enforcement grandstanding.

Ok! Back to the scene of the standoff.  Franklin said “By the time we made the move to try talking to him, there was enough backup from Decatur Police Department and other agencies that he wasn’t going to get away or have a chance to hurt the public, even if something went wrong.”  Sheriff Franklin, tell us you did not make that statement?  Decatur PD and other agencies had enough backup in place they were already in place and on the scene.  Didn’t you and Blakely come in and take over?  Do you remember any of that?  Are you alleging that the Decatur PD and “other agencies” on the scene are gun happy because you subject said he was afraid?  Did you express the subjects concerns with the other law enforcement agencies on the scene?  Did you try discussing your tactics with the other agencies before jumping into the truck?  Didn’t we see Bones on the scene?  Isn’t Bones the guy that shot a man in the back of the neck a few years ago?  Sure he was cleared by a grand jury for shooting the man.  Was the shooting of the family pets investigated?  I believe you hired an employee from Rogersville who shot and killed a man in the line of duty. I believe that you Sheriff Franklin promoted Bones and hired the man from Rogersville.  There may be some gun happy law enforcement dog killers, reserve deputies w/criminal records, corrections officer, and the likes hired by Sheriff Franklin in Morgan County but we haven’t seen that in the surrounding counties, cities, and municipalities.

Monday Morning Quarter Backing.