The town of Stettin, Wisconsin decided to send 24 armed officers and an armored military vehicle to collect a civil judgement from 75-year-old resident Roger Hoeppner earlier this month. The dispute is over how Hoeppner chooses to use his own property. From the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
Marathon County sheriff'sofficials aren't apologizing for their tactics. Sheriff's Capt. Greg Bean said officials expected to have to seize and remove tractors and wooden pallets to pay the judgment — hence the cadre of deputies. He also said what while Hoeppner was never considered dangerous, he was known to be argumentative.
Hoeppner said when he noticed deputies outside his house, he called his attorney, Ryan Lister of Wausau. Lister said he quickly left for Hoeppner's house but was stopped by a roadblock that was kept up until after his client had been taken away in handcuffs. "Rather than provide Mr. Hoeppner or his counsel notice...and attempt to collect without spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on the military-style maneuvers, the town unilaterally decided to enforce its civil judgment" with a show of force, Lister said.
Bean said deputies had to handcuff Hoeppner because he was not following all their instructions, but did eventually agree to pay the $80,000 judgment after a visit to a bank — accompanied by deputies.
Campaign for Liberty is against the militarization of local law enforcement and this is once again a case where Congress is disconnected with the will of the people. Only 62 Representatives voted to end police militarization back in June.
Tags: civil liberties