‘We are so focused on immigration, we have neglected our community…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Garry McFadden, the sheriff of North Carolina’s Charlotte and the surrounding Mecklenburg County, built his career as a homicide detective and even cashed in with a reality television series.
But now, the controversial lawman is playing the victim while catching political flak for his refusal to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
McFadden is one of several sheriffs in the conservative state’s blue urban centers who have declared their districts to be ‘sanctuary’ locales while running afoul of state lawmakers.
After a second high-profile episode in which McFadden released a dangerous criminal in defiance of a detainer request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Republican-led General Assembly this week passed HB 370, which would have forced the sheriffs to comply or face removal.
However, the bill was vetoed by Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper.
McFadden has pinned the blame on everyone but himself for the failures to protect the community.
He blamed ICE for neglecting to obtain a federal warrant that would have forced cooperation.
He blamed judges for setting the bail and terms of release.
He blamed the conservative politicians, alleging their legislative efforts were racially motivated since the three North Carolina sheriffs in defiance of immigration agreements were all black.
And now, he is blaming the constituents themselves for making their displeasure known.
“It’s very nasty,” he complained to WSOCTV. “It’s a very nasty debate. People fear for their lives.”
McFadden claimed he personally had become a target of abuse and was afraid of what the dangerous criminals at large in the community could do to him.
“I have to be more cautious,” he said. “I get death threats. I get people openly telling me what they want to do to me and my family.”
But still he remained dug into his position on non-cooperation. The debate, he claimed, no longer had anything to do with immigration but was now about his authority as a duly elected public official to decide how to interpret the laws he was paid to enforce.
“Do not erode the powers and duties of an elected sheriff,” he said.
McFadden griped that the political turmoil was distracting him from his ability to conduct business as usual.
“We aren’t even discussing the 70-some murders in Charlotte,” he said. “We aren’t discussing mass shootings. We aren’t discussing school shootings. We are so focused on immigration, we have neglected our community.”
After a mass shooting occurred at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte in May, police were largely praised for their fast response.
However, when some observed that preventative measures like a wall around the campus and tighter enforcement of security would best enhance safety, the proposals were dismissed in short order.
“The open campus is a feature of American higher education that will never go away,” campus security consultant Steven Healy told USA Today. “We want people to be able to freely travel across campus. This is who we fundamentally are, a place for the open exchange of ideas.”
McFadden, for his part, put the blame for the nationwide shooting epidemic on an uptick in “hate,” echoing unsubstantiated talking points from many scaremongering Democrat politicians that “white supremacy” was on the rise.
“I think we need to focus on violence in the schools, mass shootings and the hate that we are now seeing,” he said.