Citizen input sparks anger at Dresden board meeting – NWTN Today
By News Reporter: Shannon Taylor
April Lieberman, a citizen of Dresden, took to Facebook to express her concern after voicing her opinion on Dresden Mayor Jeff Washburn. She posted: “After publicly challenging Mayor Washburn’s ongoing violations of constitutional rights, City Police staked out my home and wires were removed from my car battery and trailer.”
Dresden Police Chief Christopher Crocker responded by saying: ‘Avril is Chief Christopher Crocker of the Dresden Police Department. I’m not a fan of false accusations being leveled against my police department, which does an outstanding job. The officer in this photo was just watching the stop sign for traffic violations. If you have a problem with the Dresden Police Department or any of my officers, I invite you to come and talk to me at the Civic Center from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, thank you.
Lieberman said, “Chief Crocker, I did not lay charges. I recounted a series of events. I publicly challenged the mayor, soon after a police car parked in front of my house for about an hour. I lived here for six years and never saw the police hanging around there. Then Sunday night I find that the wires have been pulled out of my battery and trailer. Unfortunately, I forgot to lock the car. So someone just opened the hood and pulled them out. I am 52 years old. My car has never been handled before this weekend. This is a series of events, not a false accusation. I’m disappointed that you don’t take my concerns and well-being seriously. You are here to protect this community, of which I am a part. If anything, you should contact me to file a report, not publicly castigate a citizen from the mayor’s “enemies list” on Facebook.
At the June city council meeting, when Crocker presented his report, Anderson asked him, “I received an email this week from a citizen who was concerned that our police department was being used for intimidating – parking a patrol car at his house for a while and then it was alleged that they had followed a reporter everywhere – do you want to talk about that?”
Crocker claimed to know nothing about the reporter’s incident and said the other incident was on Facebook and he responded to it. “I know the photo that was placed there was one of our officers and they were actually trying to serve a warrant on a gentleman in the street.” Crocker said that’s why the officer was parked there. Crocker said the other issue on Facebook: ‘I don’t even really want to talk about it because it doesn’t make any sense and it would be a waste of time to even talk about it, I mean to think an officer would raise the hood and cut a wire or something – that’s just unheard of. We have bigger things going on in the city besides stalking people or harassing them. »
Washburn added: ‘I can say that I haven’t spoken to the chief of police or any other officer and asked them to follow people or harass anyone.
Anderson said, “We’re not saying you did.”
Washburn said, “No you didn’t and I appreciate that. The person who wrote the message said I did and that’s a complete lie.
April Lieberman then took to the stage and said, “Whoever posted the message didn’t say you made it. The person said they challenged your unconstitutional behavior…”
Washburn interrupted her, stating that she was “out of place”.
Lieberman said, “I have just been called a liar by the mayor of my city and would like the council to give me the opportunity to respond.”
Dilday said: “You have ignored citizen input.”
Washburn said, “Yeah, I did. She will have a chance to respond in a minute. Me too.
At the time of citizens’ comments, Lieberman attempted to state her case but was constantly interrupted by Washburn who would not let her speak.
Lieberman said, “What I have done is report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation your continued and lesser-known repeated efforts to deprive the citizens of this community of their free speech and First Amendment rights.” Lieberman said what he did was a violation of the people’s constitutional rights.
Washburn said: ‘You don’t even have a clue Miss Lieberman’s violation itself. I can use my personal website to do anything…”
Lieberman interjected: “I thought that was the opinion of the citizens! Not the mayors right now. I have the floor, sir.
Washburn continued to try to interrupt her and Lieberman twice more declared she had the floor, raising her voice and sitting more upright and forward in her seat as she said it as Washburn was trying to talk to him.
Washburn said, “What I do with my personal Facebook page is my business.”
Lieberman said, “Tell that to Donald Trump. He was not allowed to block people on Twitter. You manage the affairs of the city on personal accounts. Lieberman went on to say that preventing people from accessing city information and tornado recovery information was illegal, to which Washburn replied that it was not. Lieberman then told her to go back to law school. “I went to law school and you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Anderson had to interrupt the exchange, telling them to allow one to speak and the other to respond.
Washburn said, “It’s something that shouldn’t even be before this council.”
Anderson said: ‘It’s something a citizen wants to point out, so let her do the talking. She gets three minutes straight.
Washburn said, “So you got about a minute left.”
Lieberman said, “You are not allowed to block citizens who are on your enemies list, which you have admitted to, and have blocked people from city pages. You continue to do this on your personal accounts after the council deletes the city account. It’s illegal. I reported it to the ACLU and the FBI and I’m going to report it tomorrow to the state attorney general and the Tennessee bar association because you were sworn in, sir. Not just to serve this office, but when you graduated from law school. You have taken an oath to uphold the constitution of the United States and the State of Tennessee. You are violating this and I will speak as I see fit when you violate people’s rights.
Washburn said, “Are you done? I guess you are. I can tell you that The Weakley Times is my personal news outlet on Facebook and I don’t have to allow you to come hit me up and give false information. I don’t have to give you access to a personal web page that has nothing to do with the mayor of Dresden. I go out and drive around and take pictures of businesses, report what’s going on, report city news just like the Weakley County Press and the Dresden Enterprise. There’s not a shred of difference between the three of us, so I’m a freelance journalist reporting and whether you like it or not, I’m going to keep doing it and I don’t care if the ACLU comes here or the FBI, TBI, Comptroller’s Office, or Tennessee Bar Association. They’ll tell you the same thing: that you’re full of bullshit and don’t know what you’re talking about.
Lieberman said, “The federal courts have decided otherwise. Do your research, sir.
Washburn said: “Well, it’s not Mayor Jeff Washburn’s page – it’s a page I report all kinds of news from, including beauty reviews and football and basketball games and everything else.”
Lieberman said, “You run the business of the city through your personal account.”
Washburn said he didn’t and that Liberman had “not a clue”.
Lieberman said, “You, sir, have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Washburn talked about her saying, “Next!”
After Lieberman returned home that evening, she responded to Crocker on Facebook, stating, “Chief Crocker, you spoke to me. We have never met. I didn’t even know your name before your comment. Yet at the t city council meeting, you stood up and called “nonsense” what happened to me over the weekend. Should I then expect my concerns to be handled fairly by you or your department? You did nothing to reassure me. I filed a report Sunday with the appropriate law enforcement agency, which in this case is the FBI. I also filed a complaint with the ACLU. Any further efforts to intimidate me will also be posted on Facebook and Instagram.
Lieberman spoke to the press after the board meeting and said, “My only posts on Mayor Washburn’s personal pages were more asking why he was blocking his critics. This is unconstitutional since he disseminated city information and tornado recovery resources through his personal pages. For this I was blocked with my comment deleted. It is disturbing that our mayor, a practicing attorney, continues to knowingly violate citizens’ First Amendment rights. He acts like he’s above the law. If the mayor can’t handle citizen feedback and/or criticism, he’s in the wrong line of business. He abused the power and trust placed in him by the citizens of Dresden and does not belong to the civil service. We need to focus on helping homeowners and businesses rebuild and attract new industries to our city. Our recovery from the tornado was hampered by this man’s utter incompetence and abuse of power. His erratic behavior, verbal abuse of voters and city employees, mismanagement of funds, and willful denial of people’s constitutional rights are an embarrassment that our city will hopefully soon put in the rearview mirror.
Washburn responded to news from Chanel 6 that of the sixteen accounts he had blocked he believed they were all run by the same two people, but the press had actually spoken to many people on the block list before. , confirming that many of them were blocked. just to ask questions. Washburn said he had no intention of being censured or resigning as mayor, even at the request of a majority of his council of aldermen.