A woman who gained international attention for videotaping her husband's arrest has now found herself being targeted by Lincoln, Nebraska police. Stephanie Shaw, who recorded the December 21st arrest of her husband by police officers outside the couple's mobile home following an alleged crossbow incident, has been charged with "child neglect".
[Watch the video filmed by Stephanie Shaw here]
32 year old Gary Grana, Shaw's husband, was confronted by Lincoln police in the couple's yard after a neighbor had called alleging that Grana was shooting a bow and arrow. Upwards of twenty police officers and fire trucks responded to the scene after Grana tried to enter his home. Grana is still in jail accused of assaulting officers, and is awaiting a January 11th hearing in Lancaster County Court.
Mrs. Shaw told me that she has retained an attorney and is filing a complaint against the police department. "My name and my husbands name is being slandered in our local newspaper and even on some of the comments on my video. This is a hard thing to go through knowing that your family is innocent," Shaw said. She added "the police here have put a lot of slanderous information about me in the newspaper. Trying to say that the only food in my house was a bowl of rice, some dried beans and some chicken bones. And that I only heat my house with 2 space heaters. This is all untrue. I even had a CPS worker come to my house and talk to me and he didn't understand why he was there. And really if that was the truth the police would've taken my daughter from me right then and there. They still aren't telling people that they took my computer and digital camera when they did their search."
Stephanie has set up a defense fund for her husband, who remains behind bars. You can donate to the Gary Grana defense fund via paypal, here. [Note: I understand times are tough and the economy is faltering. However, if everyone who supports this family's cause only donates a single dollar, that would be more than enough to pay their legal defense fund. Donate what you can, if you see fit. Stephanie and Gary thank you from the bottom of their hearts.]
The 20 minute video, which Grana's wife recorded and then posted on youtube, garnered international attention after being featured in my article Twenty police respond to man playing with crossbow in his backyard, seize house. The issue of police intrusion into a family's life has obviously struck a cord with the public. The article has recieved nearly a quarter of a million views, as well as being featured on WhatReallyHappened, FreedomsPhoenix, WorldNetDaily, Reddit, and many others. It recieved 23,000 views via Fark, with 433 comments. A local reporter for the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper is linking to it, noting Libertarians fired up over Lincoln crossbow incident; and it's even a linked on the Lincoln Police Chief's own blog. A poster who apparently knows the Lincoln Police chief asked the chief to respond to the crossbow story, writing "I didn't mean to start anything with that link... I was floored when I read it, and hoping like Hell, that none of it true. I hold LPD in fair high regards, and Casady has my deepest respect as a law enforcement officer and the chief of LPD." Another poster on the Police Chief's blog wrote "Lincoln's weapons laws could use a little revamping and clarification, though. I've heard of people shooting BB guns being charged with discharging a firearm in the city. Yet, the city's own definition of a firearm requires the projectile to be propelled by an explosive... And, carrying a toy gun against the law. Ridiculous."
On December 23, 1011Now.com featured a press conference of the incident in which police spokesperson Katie Flood admitted that the officer's injuries were the result of a screw on the front porch: "Flood says the cut probably occurred from a screw sticking out on the porch. A female officer sustained swelling and an abrasion to her hand."
The video which Shaw recorded cut off after 20 minutes because the camera's battery went dead. Shaw has reposted her original video after briefly removing it from youtube and now explains what happened after the footage ended. Shaw and her four year old daughter were kicked out of their home and forced to wait several hours while police scoured the home. She says that police refused to show her the actual search warrant before entering. Despite being there purportedly to investigate a crossbow incident, police took several unrelated items. In a clearly Constitutionally questionable seizure, police seized Shaw's computer, digital camera and memory card. Shaw said they have still not returned them.
Police in Lincoln admitted they recieved "a ton of e-mails" about the incident, yet Assistant Police Chief Jim Peschong insists police did nothing wrong. The Lincoln Journal Star ran an article Police: Lincoln officers handled crossbow incident properly and noted "After watching the footage, he said he didn't see any problems with the way officers handled the situation."
A police officer forum discussed the issue in a thread titled TrailerTrash + crossbow + Youtube =Madness, noting "Of course, the anarchy/"libertarian" crowd is upset...I always hate how people (especially the media) try to reduce an event to a easily digestable sound bite. The one going around about this incident is 'Twenty police respond to man playing with crossbow in his backyard'. I wanna scream at idiots like this that..." One officer immediately asserted that the couple's daughter should be taken from her parents, oddly relishing the prospect of the state seizing the child: "Rednecks with no food for the kid, no furnishings, no proper heat...but they have the money for a crossbow and beer. Typical. I hope they get the kid out of there."Two newspaper articles state that the couple has been charged with child abuse. A December 29th Omaha World Herald article Crossbow practice gets ugly reported that Grana and Shaw "also were ticketed on suspicion of child neglect, after police served a search warrant and reported finding multiple knives, crossbows and stun guns in proximity to the child. Flood said the sparsely furnished trailer�s furnace had been shut off, and two space heaters were the only source of warmth. Police found almost no food inside the home � only a can of beans, a cup of uncooked rice and some leftover chicken bones." The Journal Star reported "Police also cited Grana and Shaw on suspicion of misdemeanor child abuse. A 4-year-old girl was home at the time of the incident, Flood said, and the house was heated only by two space heaters. The only food inside, she said, was an uncooked bowl of rice, dried beans and leftover chicken bones. Police temporarily seized the mobile home as a crime scene, Peschong said. It since has been returned."
On her youtube channel Stephanie Shaw wrote "This is a video of my local police abusing my husband and his rights. They came because one of our neighbors called and said my husband was using his crossbow in our yard. NEVER HAPPENED. (I didn't know that at the time though) Crossbows are not illegal here. He was outside exercising when they came and he very obviously did not have a crossbow or any other weapons with him. He told them the accusation was false. They asked for ID. He refused on grounds that he wasn't doing anything wrong or suspicious. He asked then if he was being detained or arrested. They said no and so he started to walk away. The male cop jumped at him then and chased my husband up the porch and proceeded to slam my husbands head so hard into the door that I can't even close it now. Not only that but then they sprayed him with mace and beat the crap out of him. Then they called over the radio and said they were the ones being hit. MY HUSBAND NEVER HIT EITHER ONE OF THOSE COPS. Then they took him away and at the end of this video it cuts off because unfortunately my video recorder ran out of battery charge. They ended up illegally seizing my house and making me and my 4 year old daughter leave my house that I own. Then they would NOT show me the search warrant before they went into my house to search it. Here's the thing, NOTHING HAPPENED IN MY HOUSE. They take out our crossbows and our other LEGAL hunting and protection items. And they take my computer and my digital camera. What does that have to do with a crossbow? My husband was originally charged with resisting arrest, firing a projectile, failure to comply, and 3rd degree assault on a police officer. Now he is only being charged with the assault. He was never being arrested in the first place so how could they have a right to search my house and slander my husband who did not assault either of the officers? I'm in the process of finding a lawyer so my INNOCENT husband can be with his family again."
While Mr. Grana's reaction to police that day has been criticized by some even whom are sympathetic to his cause, this entire incident underscores a lot of what is wrong with this country. It started with the paranoid busibody neighbor who couldn't even go talk over an issue with his neighbor, opting to call the police instead. It then involves the state forcefully immersing itself into the entire family's lives. In the youtube video, a creepy police officer became enraged when Mrs. Shaw refused to disclose the age of her daughter, since it was completely unrelated to the alleged crossbow incident. A sergeant then aggressively asserted that he could seize the family home prior to getting a search warrant, which they did. The family had a large yellow Gadsden "Don't Tread On Me" flag hanging on their living room wall. They appreciate the clasical American way of life and understand we are a free people with a servant government, not vice versa. Stephanie refused to answer many of the officer's questions, asserting her 5th Amendment rights. She also filmed the officers, which undoubtedly displeased them. The public response to the Lincoln police action has been largely negative. Taking the family computer and digital camera shows that police want to know much more than 'what weapons are around'. They are targeting the family in general, perhaps searching for a 'thought crime', scouring their personal internet habits and private family photgraphs. The first officer's initial obsession on the couple's daughter is indicative of the way police are trained today: The sick mindset that 'your children belong to the state', that the state is god, and if you dare 'cross us' and stand up for your liberties, you will indeed be relentlessly targeted. As usual, the despotic state seeks to destroy the family altogether. The notion that Lincon police can claim "children are endangered" simply because their father owns weapons is anti-American and anti-Christian at it's very core.
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, RomanCatholicReport.com, Republic Broadcasting Network, WorldNetDaily, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.
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