Charges mental-health screener’s animosity to his opinions put him into lockup
A mental health screener is being accused of labeling a veteran “delusional” and “paranoid” and ordering him into a mental health hold because of his political statements.
The accusation comes in a case brought by a Marine who was taken into custody by law enforcement after the screener for Chesterfield County, Virginia, said he believed the military man might be a danger, even though the two never had met and never had even talked on the telephone.
The Marine, Brandon Raub, is represented by the Rutherford Institute.
As WND reported, Raub was approached by law enforcement officers from several agencies at his home about his Facebook postings. One officer consulted with a psychotherapist who never talked with Raub. As a result of the evaluation, the officers took Raub into custody.
The officers had contacted Raub mostly because of song lyrics he had posted on social media sites expressing distrust of the federal government and calling for the jailing of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
The officers opted for a “mental health evaluation” detention after both local and federal authorities said there had been no crime committed by Raub for which he could be arrested.
As WND reported, Raub filed the First Amendment lawsuit after a judge eventually dismissed the case against him, saying the officers’ concerns were “so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.”
At that time, another mental health professional concluded the first evaluator who advised the police officers violated professional standards.
The Rutherford Institute wants an appeals court to reinstate the lawsuit against the adviser. Its attorneys argue Raub’s “seizure and detention were the result of a mental health screener’s dislike of Raub’s ‘unpatriotic’ views on federal government misconduct, thereby violating the ex-Marine’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech.”
John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, said that as “various free speech cases working their way through the courts right now make clear, the government, a master in the art of intrusion, surveillance and criminalizing harmless activities, is continuing to clamp down on First Amendment activity on the web and in social media under the various guises of fighting terrorism, discouraging cyberbullying, and combating violence.”
“For the 1.31 billion individuals who use Facebook and the 255 million who tweet their personal and political views on Twitter,” he said,” these cases will determine where the government can draw the line when it comes to expressive speech that is protected and permissible versus speech that could be interpreted as connoting a criminal intent.”