It's disgusting to think that an assistant police chief would even think of trying to silence a dissenting citizen through a court order.
So what do some members of the Albuquerque Police Department’s command staff do when there is a citizen who constantly criticizes the department and them personally?
Do they acknowledge the person’s free-speech rights? Do they appreciate that we live in America where anyone can speak their mind free of government interference, censorship and harassment? Do they appreciate the fact that there is at least one citizen who is doing all they can to hold public officials accountable?
No. Instead, they talk about shutting him up through the court system.
At least that’s what Assistant Police Chief Bob Huntsman and now-retired Maj. Tim Gonterman briefly discussed last year in an email exchange about one of APD’s constant and most vociferous critics, Silvio Dell Angela.
In a July 30-31, 2016 email exchange, Huntsman suggested to Gonterman that 79-year-old Dell Angela might shoot up his house.
Gonterman replied that maybe they could get a restraining order against Dell Angela, apparently to keep him from sending nasty emails to politicians, judges and just about everyone else he constantly criticizes.
So what did Dell Angela, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran, do to merit a suggestion that he might shoot up an assistant police chief’s house?
Well, he criticized the APD reform process and included Huntsman’s address in the email.
On July 30, 2016, Dell Angela wrote a lengthy email to a bunch of people criticizing APD and Huntsman. The email was addressed to more than 25 people, including all nine city councilors, then-District Attorney Kari Brandenburg and Huntsman.
In the email, Dell Angela criticized the entire APD reform process. He said the federal court judge in the case had been lied to and he ripped into Huntsman.
“Meanwhile Deputy APD Chief Huntsman is laughing at all of us while arrogantly flying in front of his 11309 Burgan NE home his ‘it’s them against us — only blue lives matter’ altered black and white American flag with a blue stripe telling us neighbors that the judicial system will always be on the side of the police — even the side of the many killer cops, so live with it,” Dell Angela’s email said.
Later that day, Huntsman emailed Gonterman to say: “He [Dell Angela] gave my home 20 again. Guess he’s hoping someone will come shoot up my house. Probably will be him. He’s getting worse everyday.”
The next day, Gonterman responded: “Lets get a restraining order. Should be easy with all this documentation.”
ABQ Free Press freelance reporter Charles Arasim obtained the emails from APD through a public records request.
A lot of people, especially politicians, don’t like Dell Angela because he pretty much criticizes them every day in lengthy, vitriolic emails. And a lot of people think Dell Angela is a pain in the ass and that he should shut up and go away.
But Dell Angela has every right to say pretty much anything he wants, and public officials are often deserving of criticism, no matter how harsh it might be. And for Huntsman and Gonterman to even think of trying to silence Dell Angela through a court order is disgusting.
It’s called a police state.
Dell Angela put it better than I could.
“It’s bullshit. I don’t shoot people,” he said. “They were going after me by talking about putting a restraining order on me. That’s bullshit. They’re going after me like I’m a crazed lunatic.”
When I asked Dell Angela if he was a crazed lunatic, he replied:
“Not the last time I checked, but I’m due for an examination shortly.”
God Bless Silvio Dell Angela.
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