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  • Chad Hobbs

A view from behind the badge with Chief Deputy Ray Whited

And now for the rest of the story: Part 3

This series has delved into what happened leading up to the Lanesville couple being arrested and the horrors that law enforcement officers have to encounter regularly while also dealing with individuals such as this couple that provoke and exploit their interactions with government officials for the YouTube monetization of their channels as self-proclaimed "Constitutional auditors." But what was the fallout from this national fad descending on Meade County?

Almost immediately after Christopher Reiter and Tiffany Napier's arrest, they called for help within their online, anti-law enforcement, anti-government community, and it came in the form of call flooding and threats. For weeks, Meade County government offices were bombarded with calls from all over the country and even a few from out of the country. The calls were nonstop, badgering the Sherriff's office, the 911 center, the jail, the Court Clerk's office, the Judge's office, and even the County Clerk's office (the callers didn't realize there was a difference between the circuit court clerk and county clerk). The ladies in the front offices were talked to in the most disgusting and vulgar ways possible and had their lives repeatedly threatened. The County Clerk's office, which just happened to be in the same building and have "clerk" in its title, was so bombarded that they had to temporarily institute a call answering service in their office because the call flooding brought their work to a standstill as they tried to process deeds, marriage licenses, car plates, and vehicle taxes, along with their other duties.

Chief Deputy Ray Whited speaks with supporters outside the Meade County Courthouse

Chief Deputy Ray Whited saw his boss, Sheriff Phillip Wimpee, become the subject of videos in which the couple Whited arrested stooped to making the unbelievable claim that the Sheriff was somehow involved in the murder of his beloved son. The call flooders went to the MC Sheriff's Office Facebook page and bombarded it, even making comments on the Chris Hulsey Memorial Car Show post (Hulsey was a Deputy who died in the line of duty) that Hulsey deserved to die and that the rest of the force needed a double tap to the forehead (two rapid shots from a firearm). Then, the calls came to Whited's wife, threatening to kill her and rape their daughters. There appeared to be nothing these people wouldn't stoop to. And it took its toll.

"I'm done. This incident has taken the wind out of my sails," Whited said. "The fact that my friends and colleagues had to experience what they did because of me arresting them (Reiter and Napier)…that's what...I think probably everyone around me can tell you that I haven't been the same since."

"You asked me earlier if I would have done anything different. Nope, and the fact that I arrested them, and they put this video on YouTube, this edited, incorrect version, I don't care about that," Whited continued. "What had me about ready to find a cave somewhere and set up shop in it 'till the day I died was the fact that everybody in this courthouse was dealing with it. They were dealing with the aftermath — all the call flooding, the girls up front being called just horrific names, Susan Masterson (the County Clerk) up there getting death threats. Nobody else had anything to do with it. It was me."

Though the Chief Deputy has no regrets about arresting the couple that day, the unprecedented attack unleashed on everyone in the courthouse by this couple's social media followers would gut-punch him in a way that all the wrecks, murders, and other horrors of the job had not prepared him for.

"The wear and tear and toll I saw it taking on all of these people up here; that about did me in. That's what took the wind out my sails," Whited explained. "Because my actions brought all of that wrath of the devil down on them."

So, after all of this, it would be easy to assume that the Chief Deputy has some animosity toward Reiter and Napier, especially after what they have done and said to coworkers, fellow courthouse workers, and his family. But then you would be wrong, just as this couple's followers were when they assumed Meade County was a place that would kowtow to their anti-law enforcement and anti-government agenda.

"I'm going to tell you something. I haven't cussed these people. I haven't made any remarks to anybody about I hope ill will on them because I have had people come up to me and say they hope there's a special place in hell for them. I don't," Whited said. "I actually pray for them and have been praying for them since this happened. I hope they can beat the devil off of them. You know, get God in their life. I said I hope there's a special place in Heaven for them…that's what I hope. And I mean that with all my heart. I do. Because that's not them. All that is is the devil. The devil has them by the short hairs, and he's holding on for dear life."

Outside of qualifying to wear a badge ourselves, we can never truly understand the weight a law enforcement officer carries suppressed in the back of their mind that comes with the job. Only two of the more graphic nightmares of the job were described in this series, very vaguely, and it didn't stand the light of day for more than 48 hours before we had to remove one of the examples because of the complaints. It was at that moment, it became apparent the privilege that came with a delete button. The incident could be easily erased from the story, but it can never be erased from the officers' minds.

Hopefully, this series gives a glimpse behind the badge — to see the humans behind each one. With over 800,000+ sworn law enforcement officers in this country, there will surely be bad apples, as there would be in any other group of humans where you extrapolate a sample group of almost a million people, be it teachers, preachers, or whoever. But that doesn't call for throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Early on in the interview, Whited said of law enforcement in general, "Are we going to mess up? Absolutely, we are. We're not robots. We cry; we get sick; we bleed; and we have feelings — some of us are just better at masking them than others. But we are human beings. Yes, we are held to a higher standard, absolutely we are, as we should be."

Our local law enforcement officers see things regularly that most can't even handle reading about. They are asked to do the impossible in our community's most desperate times. They risk their lives saving ours and then, have to turn around to answer the next call. They walk around with things suppressed in their minds that would short-circuit a lot of therapists. Yet, they bravely march on. Despite Chief Deputy Ray Whited enduring being falsely accused of being a woman beater for effecting a justified arrest, he has no regrets. It was when his accusers began to abuse the women around him because of the arrest that things would become unbearable. It turns out the only thing Whited was guilty of was compassion and complete intolerance for anyone being abused, especially in his name.

And now you know the rest of the story.

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1 Comment

Jan 27

I assume this is satire!? It’s one of the funniest pieces of fiction I’ve read in a long time!

I can not and will not excuse anyone who called and made any type of threats because that is just wrong.

What is even worse than any of those calls (sticks and stones…) is someone we give our trust to completely spitting in our faces and treating citizens like trash and then to have you quote them lying about nearly every facet of the interaction and talking like he’s a Christian.

To the PIG… (I won’t call you Chief Deputy or even officer, those titles are WAY too good for you!), if you call yourself a Christian, think about the golden…

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