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GA: Georgia sheriff’s office places ‘No Trick-or-Treat’ signs in sex offenders’ yards

[fox11online.com – 10/30/18]

ACKSON, Georgia (WSYX/WTTE) — A Georgia sheriff’s office is placing “No Trick-or-Treat” signs in sex offenders’ yards in an effort to keep children safe.

“As Sheriff, there is nothing more important to me than the safety of your children,” said Butts County Sheriff Gary Long. “This Halloween, my office has placed signs in front of every registered sex offender’s house to notify the public that it’s a house to avoid.”

Long said Georgia law forbids registered sex offenders from participating in Halloween. That includes decorating their property or handing out candy.

The sheriff told residents to keep an eye out for signs marking the sex offenders’ houses.

The sign reads, “WARNING! NO TRICK-OR-TREAT AT THIS ADDRESS!!’

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  1. 290 air

    Seems like a compelled speech issue. How does this sheriff know that there aren’t any tricks at this house and maybe even a treat?

  2. wonderin

    This Sheriff is too stupid to keep anyone safe and it amazes me that he found voters even more stupid than him. A “Walking Tall” Buford Pusser he is not. I wonder how many signs are posted in the yards of registrants with innocent children? Everyone is complaining about haters and violence but here is a law enforcement official leading the pack under the guise of legal enforcement, now pass the donuts.

    • Facts should matter

      Since we’re not allowed to give out candy or have “child enticement” Halloween decorations featured in our ywars, we should all just dress up as “monsters” and go trick-or-treating in our local neighborhoods and canvass the streets. Or better yet, go to the mall where the stores give out candy just to prove how feckless and inept all these safety measures are.

  3. Dustin

    Had my daughter post on the sheriff’s Facebook page, since I can’t.

    First, he’s lying about Georgia law – there is no such law precluding registrants from Halloween. The restrictions we’re all accustomed to now only apply to those on parole or probation.

    Second, his deputies going onto the yards and leaving those signs there without consent of the property owners/renters is trespassing, pure and simple. Just as much if they went on there and left burning crosses or piles of dogshit.

    Third, I’m willing to bet trespassing isn’t covered by the statute he named requiring him to notify the public of SO presence. That the registry itself is supposed to be such notification aside, the statute usually just refers taking an ad out in the legal organ or sending out fliers, and was intended to keep the sheriff from getting sued for (maliciously) trumpeting the notice already provided by the registry itself.

    If I wasn’t on paper and it were me, I’d tear up the sign up as soon as I saw it and dare them to arrest me. If they did, I’d sue them for trespassing and seek the damages (overblown as much as possible) resulting from the arrest.

  4. Facts should matter

    “As Sheriff, there is nothing more important to me than the safety of your children,” said Butts County Sheriff Gary Long.

    Wow, personal and emotional bias much? It doesn’t matter what HE “thinks” is important. They are just going after the easy, low-hanging fruit for a cheap and easy PR stunt in an effort to repair police – community relations.

    If this measure is for advisory purposes, it’s still a reverse cry wolf, fear mongering and taking false credit for minimizing risk.

  5. TIRED OF HYPOCRITES

    The pure ignorance of the Sheriff (with his tactics to look all “tough” and caring is so pathetic, I just want to ‘Throw Up’. MY 2 insights into this matter causes me to “scratch my head” (if he is so worried about the children). I’m confused why, no where in this story talking about this load of “garbage”, does it offer other/ additional sorts of Precautions that should be taken into consideration “for the safety of the children” (such as careless drivers or intoxicated drivers WHICH ACTUALLY HAS HIGH PERCENTAGE OCCURRENCES). AND, the 2nd thing that confuses me, as to WHY a sign even needs posted ? Because the lights on the house (porch, etc) is supposed to be Off. So when I used to go trick or treat as a child, when you came to a house that didn’t have their lights on, you just continued on past. So if their lights are Off, what’s the purpose of the sign ? Oh…… that’s right. To further inflict public humiliation. GET A LIFE SHERIFF !!! (…….or do you have skeletons in YOUR closet, that your trying to divert perception and look tough).?

    • someone who cares

      This is a bunch of BS and would definitely be trespassing. Also, he is only concerned about the safety of the kids. What about the kids of the Registrants? These signs will allow people to be reminded about a registrant living at this place and many might be tempted to harass or retaliate. Are the kids living there safe in that case? I don’t think so. Get a grip sheriff!! You are humiliating for your own personal satisfaction, no other reason. Just be honest and cut the crap about caring about the safety of children. Just own your actions and don’t hide them behind some BS reasoning.

  6. troy

    sounds like barney fife is alive and well in ga

  7. Dustin

    After researching a bit more, it’s come to my attention that these deputies are trespassing. Despite the Long’s claims to the contrary, there are no state statutes or county/city ordinances regarding registrants’ restrictions on Halloween. Pretty sure leaving a sign there without permission of the property owner/renter doesn’t fall under probable cause or reasonable suspicion to enter.

    If I were in that county and not on paper, I’d be calling the GBI and State Patrol to press charges against Sheriff Long for trespassing, and would do so as publicly as possible. Personally, I’m getting really sick of LE bending and ignoring the law just to harass.

  8. J

    The only reason this coward is doing this is because of the issue that took place with the other officer wanting to lock people up in the town hall. He has to show his support even if it proves he’s ignorant. Well he’s proved that!

  9. TS

    SO, you want to notify the public of the registrants, but have no timeline as to when you should do that, eh Sheriff? You wait until you can get max exposure of your signs and embarrassing people by placing them when the most people are walking the neighborhoods? Is there no other way to notify the public that is not physically placing a sign in the yard? Is there any possibility you or your staff will be out checking on the signs tomorrow to ensure they are in place still before the minions come walking through? What if the sign is not in the yard? What are you going to do? Trespass again to place another in a certain compelled speech effort? Who is going to come get the sign once Oct 31 has gone on the calendar if the sign is still posted? Is it the property of the person whose yard it was placed in? Is that not considered dumping or littering by legal standards if you don’t come get it once its applicable time period is over if the sign is still posted? Election signs have a timeline to be gone, so is this any different? Had you just placed the signs without any tie to registrants, would anyone thought differently about the sign other than “no treats at this house”?

    Are you going to do the same signs for the Christmas and New Year season when DUIs reach higher data points of happening by those who have a DUI?

    Who is contacting the city or county general counsel to discuss this matter from the registrant’s POV?

  10. USA

    Intriguing. The Registry started out with people being able to visit a police station and view registered people. Then, came the internet, beaches, parks, residence restrictions, computer use, Facebook use, job restrictions, travel restrictions and now this? It’s honestly pretty nuts and almost surreal? What’s next? Yet, we have legislators wanting more? I’m really shocked! Maybe someone from what’s supposed to be the most compassionate and giving countries in the world should think of laws to help others? Reading this is almost comical! What’s next? I truly feel this is like Nazi Germany with the Jews! It’s really no different! Marked Passports? Some states require marked licenses? I truly pray and hope that the new legislation in 2021 will change things. Cities like OC can’t deny everyone! The requirements aren’t as stringent then a COR! I can only hope and pray new legislation will make the process even easier! Best of luck and God Bless you Janice!

  11. Frustrated

    I sent him an email explaining how stupid this act is and how he should educate himself on statistics concerning who actually abuses children and re offense rates after incarceration release.
    I guess common sense take a permanent vacation south of Mason- Dixon!

  12. Ron

    So, if they law does say the sheriff must inform the public, is there anything preventing the sign from being removed? How long must the sign stay in place? One night, a month a year? It sounds like this shierff hasn’t any idea.

  13. D

    Read this article today talking about the higher risk of children being struck by a car on Halloween. Too bad the government is only concerned with something that has never happened, rather than the one thing that always happens on Halloween.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/30/18041698/halloween-traffic-fatalities-deaths-car-accidents-deaths-children

  14. Eric

    Three kids killed today in a cross walk in my community, hit by a car (no details on the driver yet). Last year two kids killed crossing in a cross walk, hit by a drunk driver. Yet I don’t see any action by the city to “protect the kids.” Meanwhile we have another quiet Halloween as far as RSO’s go. Boss Hogg living up to the stereotype of the bigoted redneck Georgia sheriff.

    • NY won't let go

      I have no pity for drunk drivers. My grandfather was killed by one in front of a bunch of kids. He was the crossing guard for an elementary school.

      The police didn’t charge the driver of anything and he walked because he was “still young and had a lot to lose”. He was 43 with 4 kids that he was supposed to pay child support on but didn’t.

      • Eric

        Exactly, so when politicians cry out, “It’s for the children,” we know it is a lie because they are only addressing situations that are convenient and easy prey for their political benefit. They cause more victims then they ever help.

      • NPS

        I, too, have known people killed by DUI drivers. One was broadsided (the image of her lying on the hospital bed in a coma is seared into my memory). Another person I knew was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a DUIer. That guy rolled into a strawberry patch off the freeway. The car was a 2-door. DUIer escaped leaving his two passengers in the back seat to burn to death. I also knew someone who killed a 12 year old kid in a DUI accident and he was very much remorseful. As much anger as I have for DUI drivers, I still have compassion. Some do have remorse and try to change themselves and they’re deserving of support. But I can’t say I have zero pity for ALL drunk drivers. That’s like making the generalized statement that all RCs are child predators.

        • NY won't let go

          I can say I have no compassion whatsoever for people who drive drunk, because once they make that choice they are taking every person on the road, the sidewalk, in the car, or where ever they might go’s life into their hands.

          It’s pretty simple to get a ride or don’t drive if you drink. Or just sleep it off.

          My question though would be, if they feel remorse for what happened are they still drinking and driving? From my experiences not many will be effected enough to stop the behavior. If anything it would cause them to drink more because of the guilt and depression of having taken someone’s life.

          The others I have known carried on like nothing happened because they hadn’t had to pay for the crime of murder, just negligent driving. One person killed a family of four and was sentenced to time served(one month) , no fees, no suspended license, nothing, not even a criminal record after they promised to take a driving class and went to a few AA meetings in jail.

          Less than a week later they did the same thing but added in some pills and drove into the living room of a house. No one was injured but the dog. For this they got 30 days probation and just the repair costs to the house.

          Sorry for the ranting, but this was just one of many I knew over the years who just kept doing it over and over regardless because there was no heavy punishment the first time or really ever that would stop them from doing it.

        • NPS

          @ NY Won’t Let Go

          Perhaps I should have been more clearer. I do have compassion for those who realize their fatal mistakes who truly do want to move on and live a better life. The person I knew did 7 years state prison. I met him after the fact in college. He refused to touch another drink. He didn’t drive anymore because in SF, you really don’t need a car. This man was repentant and very much deserving of compassion.
          But I can’t go around being angry at DUIers. It’s just not healthy. Just as it’s not healthy for people like those pro-registry folks who demonstrate the same lack of passion you have for drunk drivers. Look no further than Ron Book who is a seriously disturbed person. You seem like a nice guy. Don’t become someone like that.

        • NY won't let go

          @NPS I’m trying not to be 😂 but reading all of the news and everything from the US has been getting to me and reminds me why I quit watching the news when I lived there.

          Nothing makes sense there and hasn’t for at least the past 10 years. All the new laws and regulations are increasingly based on the whims of emotionally unstable people.
          The newest news piece I saw was that they want to remove the citizenship of those born to foreign parents in the US using an executive order.

          if they want to even out the population I would gladly trade citizenship with one of them😂😂 they can’t be just making a bunch more stateless people because they are trying to destroy what the country was founded on. (the US is the only country that I know of where the government will allow someone to not have a nationality as its a basic human right)

    • NPS

      Let me add to this list. In Walnut Creek, CA, an 8-MONTH old baby died yesterday just days after she and her father were slammed by a DUI driver. Her father was killed instantly. Yet no restrictions on DUI drivers or even street closures on Halloween. But to be fair, we don’t have presence/residency/Halloween restrictions up here, either. Still, the point is, children are most harmed by DUI drivers with no documented cases of RCs harming them during Halloween season.

  15. Agamemnon

    Any registrants who are victimized tonight should sue.

    It’ll also be interesting to document how many children get injured tonight by non-registrants, as the biggest threat to kids on Halloween are auto accidents.

  16. Quinn

    I dont understand why it’s ok to put children or other family at risk who may reside with a parent who is an RSO.

    When you do: You are communicating that it is ok to bully, ostracize , isolate them too.

    If anyone thinks that children or family of RSO’s dont read comments on news stories, FB posts etc. Or dont listen to rumors of said family RSO… I have news for you, they do!!!

    It’s the definition of hypocrisy. All children matter, except those who reside or are related to an RSO! Sad…

  17. K

    On KFI radio, Bill Handel just had a conversation with reporter Steve Gregory about “Operation Boo,” in which state parole visits homes of registrants on parole to be sure they’re abiding by their terms on Halloween. Several times during their discussion it was stated that ALL registered sex offenders may not decorate their homes or hand out candy, and that if any registrant hands out candy or lights their home, they will be immediately arrested. Gregory specifically stated (incorrectly) that these restrictions apply to ALL registrants, not just those on parole.

  18. Frustrated

    Follow up on email I sent to sheriff.

    He sent back this reply.

    ” I love people who hide behind fake emails( mine had my full name/ not fake) . Don’t worry about what we do here in the south”.
    I responded by saying that I worry about all citizens of this country that are treated unjustly.
    I questioned how a man who doesn’t care about justice coukd be elected and suggested that in order to get the needed votes he must have had a rather large bar tab!

    • Quinn

      I emailed him as well. I included my contact info. I will update everyone with his response, if he chooses to reply.

      • Frustrated

        The sheriff is now trolling me! He’s asking if I live in California, if I am registered. I bet he would call local L.E. to hassle me.

        • Will Allen

          So funny. I guess he has no more important work than fighting over e-mail. I do think criminal LE people like this sheriff will abuse any power that they have and try to get other LE to harass you. It’s what they do. Most of them are little people and can’t take any criticism.

          You always know that a person is up to no good if they are more interested in you than in what you are saying. Those people are harassers. They typically are dumb and have no facts as well.

          You could tell Sheriff Pusser that it doesn’t matter where you live. You can own all kinds of things in Butts County. Perhaps you do. And that is not his business at all. Personally, I’ve made it a goal to own things all over the place. I’m controlling a lot of these people.

    • TS

      @Frustratred

      The Sheriff’s reply is similar to the southern states reply just before they succeeded and then had their collective asses handed to them before they surrendered in 1865. His reply is a reason why people worry about what he is doing, regardless of their location in this nation.

      • TS

        That is seceded from the union, not succeeded, where they succeeded in seceding from the union. This new Android phone update is correcting more than it needs to. Sorry about the word choice there on the phone’s behalf.

  19. FinallOffTheReg

    Incredible. My local news here in New England ran “teasers” for this idiocy each time they went to break. Then they finally did the story. What immediately followed the story was a local story regarding a minor who had been give candy laced with Methamphetamine. But that wasn’t the “teased” story. It was that idiotic sign, not the fact that a kid had been hospitalized and nearly died from ingesting tainted candy from a weekend neighborhood thing. Truly idiotic and dumb, but I guess around this time of year, sensationalism and lies rule the day regarding Halloween. But let’s not put out a warning regarding tainted candy, oh hell no. That might piss off the local “dealers”. Just a thought 🙂

  20. Steveo

    Answering: “concerned about the safety of the kids. What about the kids of the Registrants? ”

    Or how about the safety of registrants? That’s why lady justice has a blindfold on. Justice is not supposed to look at people and make a judgement call the value of one person over another. A great example would be that if a richa and poor person come before the court, the judgement isn’t supposed to favor the poor person even though we all have a soft spot for the poor and downtrodden, and we’ve been told a narrative about rich people, and how they’re evil and make thier money off the backs of the poor. If the law shows that the rich person should win the case, then the rich person should win the case. Lady Justice is blind, and human biases are not to enter into judgements.

  21. Will Allen

    I posted the comment below at the sheriff’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ButtsCountySheriff/posts/1900376396683224:

    This kind of nonsense is just so stupid that it would be funny if it weren’t so heinously un-American. It could possibly, maybe, conceivably, be acceptable to real Americans if this was done to ALL people who have ever been convicted of ANY serious crime AND probably also if it were only done to people who were on probation or parole. Outside of that, no real American can even think about supporting this.

    What this criminal regime should be doing instead of this nonsense is telling all people that they should be supervising their children. THAT is what they should be doing. And THAT is the ONLY way to actually protect anyone from whatever this criminal regime fantasizes might happen. It is irresponsible to do anything else.

    A number of news articles have quoted the sheriff as saying that Georgia law places Halloween “restrictions” (a.k.a. harassment) onto people who on listed on $EX Offender Registries ($ORs). That is false. So is he really that misinformed? Or is he intentionally lying?

    The VAST majority of people who are listed on the $ORs are not on probation or parole. On Halloween, those people in Georgia should all leave their homes and go where ever they like, completely anonymously if they choose. It is trivial to do. That is the proper, moral, American response to these stupid, worse-than-merely-worthless, grandstanding PR stunts.

  22. American Detained in America

    I hope there’s a lawsuit coming his way!

  23. TS

    Email this to the Sheriff (which I did post on the MO thread here in a reply to @Eric specifically too) for him to consider as he plants signs:

    AP article which addresses kids killed on Halloween related to traffic:

    Halloween can be deadly for pedestrians, traffic study says

    https://www.apnews.com/7e009555b3e84da58576a2f6195c61d8

    Summary:
    -43% higher death risk on October 31
    -608 deaths on 42 Halloweens
    -55 deaths of kids 4-8 yrs old
    -NHTSA Data
    -CDC has similar data in their study (’75-’96)
    -Alcohol is a factor
    -Canadian study of USA data

    Study is in JAMA Pediatrics with more info and data,
    Pedestrian Fatalities Associated With Halloween in the United States,
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2711459

  24. FinallyOffTheReg

    @will allen

    The sheriff more than likely is Intentionally Lying in order to support the idiocy. But, who is going to call him on that? It’s all part of the morass of idiocy. But it plays into the flawness as so many of his “Sheriff” BS does. Cheers.

  25. Eric Knight

    The registrant should place his own sign that says:

    “This resident is less likely to commit a sex crime than a teacher or faculty member at ((insert local school name here)). SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice”

    • TS

      Why stop at the educators? Why not throw the LEOs into the mix as well and give the entire block of stats of those who are in the 90+% so people will truly know with the correct citation? The LEOs cannot take it down out of safety of the children, but has to leave it as free speech. Heck, both signs next to each other in a photograph sent to all the local media would be interesting as a follow up story.

    • Frustrated

      Or better yet, post a sign in front of sherff’s office saying “Your sheriff is wasting taxpayer money and crime hasn’t gone down”.

  26. AJ

    In the article, it claims the sheriff is acting in accordance with the Statute that says he, ” shall inform the public of the presence of sexual offenders in each community.” However from the image in the story, the signs he placed do no such thing, thus he’s not complying with his own cherished law (regardless whether true or false). Instead, he’s compelling speech on private property, as well as the aforementioned trespassing. Sounds like a fish-in-the-barrel lawsuit for anyone affected.

    • Dustin

      @ AJ: That’s the exact wording of OCGA 42-1-12(i)(5), which Long believes is the authority to leave those signs. Personally, I don’t see where it even authorizes (let alone requires) LE to go onto private property (without cause) and leave the sign there. Will Bassler is correct, that’s clear textbook definition of trespassing and vandalism/littering.

      I say again, the registry itself was supposed to be the public notification this particular statute requires. Makes me wonder why the Georgia legislature found it necessary to add this little bit of worthlessness to its code.

  27. AJ

    I also happened to notice Butts Co., GA is home to the “Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Diagnostic_and_Classification_State_Prison). It’s, let’s say, where people get their first exposure to the GA prison system (original felon intake) and their last (death chambers). Now I don’t know about your parts of the country, but where I’m from this probably isn’t the high-rent district in the Peach State.

    • Will Allen

      I didn’t look into it very closely at all but I did see a few places where some people who seem to have a bit of sense and insight were saying that they were putting the signs on government property (I suspect on the right-of-ways).

      And, yes, this entire Butts County has no high-rent districts. It is FUUUUULLLL of backwards, uneducated rednecks, almost certainly including their sheriff. I bet you can guess their politics.

      Look, I come from rednecks myself (I’m not from Georgia though). I can’t hate on them too much but I feel it is important for stupid people to know that they are stupid and to slow down and try to think a little more and longer. I do that myself because I work with a pile of smart people. I’m not a genius and I’m not better than most people, but the Registries have taught me that most people are just simply not good, decent people. Most people are scum. The Registries have taught me to hate them. So I’m going to laugh at the uneducated rednecks. It sucks, but the Registries are for hate. The people who support them deserve to have their hatred reflected back onto them a thousandfold.

      I have believed for a very long time and would bet anything that it is true – the dumber that someone is, the more likely it is that they support the Registries. I fully expect that Registry Terrorists (RTs) are dumber, poorer, and less educated than average. None of those are bad things if a person is not a bad person. But RTs are bad people. Someone needs to do a study of the attributes of RTs. I bet that is what they would find. I bet they would also find that they are more likely to be criminals, smoke, be alcoholics, and have shorter lifespans.

      • Frustrated

        They are not “red necks”, because I think that is a term of endearment to them. They are just plain uninformed.

  28. Mr. G

    if you care so much about children’s safety, why don’t you fund the idea of having and extra person helping out on a school bus. This extra should make sure traffic comes to a complete stop when the bus comes up the the bus stop. The individual needs to get off the bus and with a neon shirt walk into the street with a stop sign and making sure traffic is at a complete stop before anyone enters or gets off the bus. you gotta protect them children against those evil drivers. Do you know how many children lives are effected from either injury or death from careless drivers?

  29. Will Allen

    Personally, I don’t really care if there are Halloween punishments/harassment/restrictions, as long as they don’t involve trying to tell me where I may and may not be (including at my home). I leave my home every Halloween and go out and celebrate somewhat. My wife and I always drive around neighborhoods and check out the decorations and the trick-or-treaters. Ooooo, if the brain-dead Registry Terrorists ever thought for a second and realized that is exactly what happens, they would lose what is left of their tiny minds.

    We always take a very nice vehicle that attracts tons of attention and I don’t care. Still, no one knows anything about me. I do find it quite hilarious that a person can drive such a vehicle around and people still have no idea at all that it belongs to a Registered person. I do wonder if someday neighborhoods will get their own license plate readers and plug them into their Nanny Big Government databases. I would guess that a number of areas around where I live have already looked into that. I don’t think they could keep Registered People from driving in their neighborhoods but I’m sure they would try. If they “found out” that it was happening (like who wouldn’t already know that?!), I do expect that might prompt some neighborhoods to gate themselves off. So many already do. I find that funny as well – they gate themselves off but the trouble is inside the gates!

    If I was interested in doing something bad, I wouldn’t be driving one of my vehicles and I wouldn’t be anywhere near my home. The Grovetown, GA mayor told me that he hoped to see me in Grovetown. I responded civilly but I considered telling him that I would be in Grovetown but there’d be no chance that he would know it. And of course I’d say that’s almost guaranteed to happen in the future.

    A number of people here have said that the people targeted with “no candy” signs ought to put out their own signs. Frankly, I know that I wouldn’t really give a damn about any signs that NBG put on government property, like government right-of-way, near my home (wouldn’t allow it on my property). They can keep signs up all year for all I care. It would keep scum bags away from my home even better.

    But, I would have to have my own signs. I’d have to have some with the sheriff’s name specifically on them. I do like “Sheriff xyz is more likely to commit a $EX crime than the person who lives at this home.” Who could argue with that? Or how about “Sheriff xyz is more likely to be a child molester than the person who lives at this home.” Nice.

    I think I’d also have to make a sign about 20 times larger than their “no candy” sign that says maybe something like “Awesome candy at this home, come on up!” Or perhaps, “Great treats for all people who hate big government!”

    And lastly, I would have to decorate for Halloween by creating great effigies of the sheriff and other officials who supported the signs and hanging them on some nice gallows in my yard. You could pin signs to their chests that said things like “Traitor”, “Idiot”, or things that were much more offensive. Serious fun! That would be great decoration year round.

    • JM from wi

      @ will allen
      LOL- great Halloween idea’s for us. Great to see your somewhat radical ideas pepper sprayed across these pages (and lots of others). As a dues paying compliant sheep registrant; I commend your tenacity. If you drove your vehicle, decorated with the sheriff’s effigy into my gated community (of 3). You could trick or treat at my house. … If you add the sheriff of Polk county to the mix you may have a whole hand full!

    • TS

      @will allen

      What you said about driving around and looking at the Halloween decorations reminds me of those who drive around at the Christmas season and look at the holiday light displays some people assemble (rivaling the Griswold’s of movie fame in some instances) even with a local FM radio transmitter to play the music the lights are synchronized with. The Halloween matter you, et al, discuss here above also brings to my mind those areas that tell registrants they cannot put up Christmas displays up either in their yards or on their homes.

      Now, if there is a “No Trespassing” sign placed in the yard, a fence bordering a yard, or possibly both (maybe a beware of dog sign too) yet there is a restriction on what Christmas displays, then is this not a conflict of free speech especially if there is nothing to entice them onto the property, e.g. candy, a defined border, and thus anyone who is caught coming onto the property without an invite is trespassing? What if the person who has a display wants to display a Manger, etc, Menorah, Kwanzaa, or other seasonal display, which are religious and/or cultural? Does this fall under the no display rule and potentially is a violation of free speech? Are these displays enticing drive by observers and admirers for the sake of enjoying the season through free speech with no enticement other than blinking lights, possible music, or other colorful enjoyment?

      A sheriff walking (e.g. trespassing) w/o just cause puts a burr under my saddle…

      • Will Allen

        I haven’t heard for sure but I expect that the signs were placed on government right-of-way. Even this idiot sheriff would not be so dumb to try otherwise, right? I know there is some portion of your property near roads where the government can go onto for certain needs like utility maintenance. Is that the case for everything? I really don’t know.

        I do know that I wouldn’t allow them to put signs on my property without a response.

        Also, we’ve had this discussion on here before but I don’t think “no trespassing” signs are effective in general. It would be stupid if you actually needed one to keep people from putting signs on your property, so I can’t imagine that is the case. And they also do not keep people from coming to your door and knocking on it because that is not trespassing.

        I think if a person does not have a wall or fence around his/her property that he/she needs to find some effective sign. How about, “Do not enter this property, except for an emergency, without express permission of the owner. Do not approach the home. Delivery personnel are welcome.”

      • TS

        @Will Allen

        What govt right of way on my lawn or fence that abuts a sidewalk or driveway of my house that a sign can be planted? That’d be news to me. They want to put it on the sidewalk, that’s their deal, but to trespass on my property w/o due process to place a compelled speech sign, well, see ya in court, Sheriff.

        (Queue Gran Torino movie scene of a certain man telling the kids to get off his lawn.)

        • CR

          Often there are easements that grant utility providers access to lines and pipes for water, sewer, gas, power, telephone, cable, fiber, etc., that serve you or cross your property, typically at the boundaries, like along the street, or overhead. That may allow some signage that is pertinent and required for safety purposes, like “Gas Line: Call Before You Dig”, but I don’t think it amounts to an unlimited right of government to litter your property with signs.

        • TS

          @CR

          Easements make sense as you state but they are not gov’t right aways unless the particular utility is provided by the gov’t. The sidewalk is the closest the gov’t can get to the house and placing a sign on it in whatever fashion they feel is best, but yard and fence is off limits, just as you state.

  30. TS

    A little more light reading on this particular sheriff and a rather interesting article posted this morning with plenty of good data points (e.g. According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. And as for keeping the general pubic safe, vandalism spikes by 24% on Halloween, making it the night with the most vandalism of the year.):

    Georgia Government Officials Celebrate Halloween By Engaging In Pointless Hassling Of Sex Offenders

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20181031/14533540953/georgia-government-officials-celebrate-halloween-engaging-pointless-hassling-sex-offenders.shtml

    • Will Allen

      Thanks for the link. I posted some comments, including this (which I found enjoyable!):

      I think it is illegal for the sheriff to go onto private property period. The only exception to that is if the sheriff is doing exactly what any other member of the regular public could also do – and that is simply and only going to the front, “public access” door of the home and knocking. Other than that, they have no legal authority. So it is illegal for the sheriff to put any signs on private property. I think if signs were placed like that, they could be removed immediately.

      However, a minority of the people who are listed on Georgia’s Registry are on probation or parole. For those people only, I do expect that the probation/parole office could tell them that they must allow the sheriff to put such a sign on their property. The sheriff would not have any authority of their own to do it. If a person refused, I expect they could have probation/parole problems. But they can always tell the sheriff to F off.

      The other alternative is if it is legal or not for the sheriff to put signs on government property. I know the Georgia DOT says that signs along roads are generally not legal and they WILL remove them. So are the sheriff’s signs exempt? How? By what law? The sheriff says that he has authority for the signs from O.C.G.A. 42-1-12 (i)(5), which says in its entirety: “[The sheriff’s office in each county shall:] Inform the public of the presence of sexual offenders in each community;”. These signs are not doing that, they say nothing about “sexual offenders”.

      So I’m not sure. May a sheriff just put up any signs that they like anywhere on government property just so long as they say it is for “public safety”. No idea. I’d say more that these signs are election campaign signs and they are illegal, but that’s just me.

      Regardless of all that, I don’t think anyone should think it is okay to pick up a government sign from anywhere (other than your own private property). I can’t see how that would ever be legal. And it would surely not be legal to put such a sign on someone else’s property.

      What I think would be much more fun would be if a person who was targeted by such a sign put up their own, much, much larger sign that said, “Butts County Sheriff Gary Long is much more likely to molest children than the occupant of this house is.” That is likely a true statement for just about anyone so there would be no concern for liable.

      Or a person who is not on probation or parole could put up a huge sign that said, “Please trick-or-treat here. We have great treats. No big government lovers allowed. F*ck Gary Long.”

      Another fun thing to do would be to build some gallows in your front yard and hang a bunch of effigies there. You could put the sheriff there of course, along with a sign on him that says “Traitor”, “Douche Bag”, or “Un-American”. A person could have all sorts of fun with that.

      • TS

        @will allen, et al,

        While I agree with the no posting of signs compelling speech as has been done in this instance by the sheriff through potential trespassing, I have to say take a look at the sign with the article. I take it is the actual sign posted. If so, then there is nothing about a registrant on it.

        I know this may be splitting hairs here, but it just says no trick or treating at this address and is a community safety msg from the sheriff. The only notion we know of that this is for a registrant are the articles noting his effort and method being used to notify the public of registrants. One has to put the two together to know what is happening and why. The media helped him accomplish his mission and also brought attention to this idiocy and him as well. In no way am I sticking up for him or his efforts, but the signs by themselves are innocuous (provided the sign in the article is the real sign). Did the sheriff surreptitiously win here and is laughing behind his desk with all of this?

        I read in one of the article’s comments about someone moving a sign from one property to another (which could be anywhere). Now, that would be funny given the less than specific nature of the signs themselves.

        • Will Allen

          Yep. That was one of my points. The sheriff said that the law that gives him authority is the law that says he must inform the public of the “presence of sexual offenders”. Those signs don’t do that so they are not covered by that law.

        • Roger

          @WillAllen, the results of excessively pushing the Sheriff and pointing out the lack of authority of a sign without “sex offender” on it could result in him being angry enough to print “This household has a sex offender” on next year’s signs. Is that your goal? You would find the registrants in that city paying for your desire to go beyond informing and deliberately antagonizing the sheriff. I recommend you pull back to the “informing” line.

          African American’s didn’t get their civil rights by harassing the KKK and other irrational people. Google it and learn how they used coordinated strategy and kniowing human nature to win.

        • Will Allen

          Roger – Really? People are worried about signs? Or being “outed”. People need to get over that ASAP. Hell, let’s put up or own signs for 365 days a year.

          I want to do a lot more than antagonize the scum that support the Registries. I want to tell them to go ahead and take their best shot to harm me. They have failed and they will continue to pay. I want to tell them that decent people aren’t going to support them so they are going to keep struggling.

          I saw on some of the comments where people were discussing how LE could do these type of things because “$EX offenders” would not fight back. Isn’t it so unfortunate that is what people see and believe? Instead of overwhelming opposition.

        • Roger

          @WillAllen, your arrogance is breathtaking. You are poking a lion through a cage filled with other registrants, safely on the other side of the bars and smug that you won’t have to pay the price.

          Why don’t you ask those registrants how they feel about you forcibly “outing” them to satisfy your extremist desires?

          Your posts are often filled with negativity and hate. Rarely do you offer hope and encouragement.

          Reality check for you: it is IMPOSSIBLE to force someone to believe something, especially when you are stabbing them with rhetoric.

          There is nothing wrong with leaving comments on pages. I do it myself.

          BUT your sarcastic rhetoric will only entrench his position. If you behaved like a jerk to me, you could tell me the sky is blue but I’d say it was purple just because I disliked you. That is human nature.

          You playing the part of a volatile, angry, unstable sex offender is playing right into the hands of our opponents.

          Want to REALLY make a difference? Do what African Americans did: Share the facts of the registry evil and share your personal story about how the registry has hurt you while trying to be a positive contributor to society. Show up to speak out against bad laws. And vote!

          Our war will be won by changing the hearts of the public, not in blasting them with rhetoric. Learn from the lessons of history or repeat their mistakes.

        • R M

          @Will: I like your thoughts but every RC doesn’t want to fight, some just want to be left alone and I don’t see a problem with that.

          Some days I fight, some days I just want to be left alone. For over 10 years I live in a state in which I wasn’t on a public registry, had a great job, and no one knew my past unless I told them (or they didn’t let it known they knew). I couldn’t care less about new laws, posting signs, or any of that as it didn’t affect me. I moved to another state (to be close to my ailing mother) and was on the public registry. It sucks having to apply to 100’s of jobs before 1 accepts you and then you still have to defend yourself to your peers. Now I fight. But changing someone’s mind about all this is difficult, very difficult as we have all seen.

        • Will Allen

          Arrogant? Maybe, but not because of my statements about this nonsense.

          I am not the one who is hiding. If this confused sheriff were trying this at my home, I would be in his face. I would see that he was not reelected. I would be the one throwing the sign out of my yard and getting a restraining order to keep him off of my property. He would see me. Plenty of them have. And the LE enforcement that is around my area knows that there is nothing to be gained from getting near me. They stay away from me.

          And even in this case, I have much more to lose than these people do. Are they really worried about being “outed”?! Are they really concerned that next year the sign might say “$EX offender”? Ummm, their neighbors already know. That is the entire significant point of the entire Registry. So ALL Registered people need to get over that.

          I realized early on that being “outed” in a neighborhood is a good thing because it allowed me to see who the decent people were and who were the scum that should be ignored. I treat such neighbors as just more wildlife loitering around my neighborhood. Except they aren’t beautiful or as deserving of any rights or consideration. The best they can hope for is that I don’t run them over in the road.

          What is more significant is that I pointed out that the vast majority of people who are Registered in Georgia do not have any punishment/harassment/restrictions regarding Halloween or being around children ever. So surely THAT is what would freak out the busybodies, no? They should try to get some “restrictions” passed, no? That is what would have the most impact and would impact me.

          Additionally, there have been plenty of similar things happening around me. I don’t recall anyone asking me what I thought about how their statements would impact me and my wonderful “relationship” with my local LE criminals. Pretty sure that no one cared about that.

          If a person looks at me and my actual life they would have a hard time thinking that I am not stable and extremely productive. What do you mean by productive anyway? I’m very wealthy. I pay far, far more than my fair share of taxes. I don’t break any laws. How else should I be productive? Maybe I should be like Trump and not pay taxes? I don’t know.

          But the fact is that I don’t have any obligations to be a good, “productive” citizen. That obligation is removed by the Registries. I am not going to do anything at all that has any chance of helping anyone who might think the Registries are acceptable. I’m just not doing it. I will help people who I know are good. Most people living in the U.S. are not.

          I’m also not going to be nice to people who support the Registries. They are going to have their hate returned in magnitudes. You almost sound like that you don’t think people should fight back. They should be nice and just accept whatever is dropped on them. If they are nice, their attackers will treat them fairly and be nice to them. That hasn’t worked. Most idiots that support the Registries only understand force.

          Lastly, if I am not stable, it is because of the Registries. It’s really that simple. I don’t get overexcited about any other issues. People can stop harassing me with the Registries or pay the price.

        • Roger

          @WillAllen, you are a huge hypocrite! You don’t want society telling what you can and cannot do because you are a registrant, but you have no problem FORCEABLY OUTING registrants, telling they MUST become political activists because you in your extreme arrogance have decided that?

          I’d like to see you put in a room of the registrants who will have to live with your foolish, short-sighted, rage-based mistakes. They no doubt would like to tell you to your face how self-centered you are.

          I also would prefer that all registrants be as active in the fight as ACSOL is. However, if registrants want to keep as low a profile as possible it is their right.

          Tell us plainly: are you advocating violence? Yes or no?

          If you are advocating violence, you have no place in our community, just as African Americans rejected the violent Black Panthers (which you should Google to learn how useless violence is to positively changing public perception!) To change perceptions, we cannot use fear. That will only affirm their opinions. We change society’s perceptions by sharing stories and information. And we also take legal action! Read about how MLK won civil rights.

          If you act in violence, you will destroy much of the hard work we have accomplished because your rage fits the emotionally-unstable stereotypes that supporters of the registry have of us.

          Your arrogance leads you to say foolish things like “You almost sound like that you don’t think people should fight back”, which is B.S. ACSOL and other organizations are actually accomplishing a lot. ACSOL has eliminated presence restrictions in California and stamped out most residence restrictions. ACSOL has helped crush or at least lessen the effect of many, many bad bills. We will be fighting specific injustices in the new California tiered registry. We offer links to resources. We have informational meetings and emotional support meetings. And lots more!

          In contrast, what do you offer? Hot air!

          So tone it down! We don’t need your misdirected rage.

        • NPS

          @Roger,

          Agree completely. I’m getting a little tired of Will Allen’s rhetoric, and quite frankly it does NOT help. I’ve read his comments on other articles (and it’s always the same copied/pasted comment to each individual’s post) and NOT ONE reply to his comment is ever positive. It’s always pushback. That’s human nature. No one wants to be shouted at. Anger is not a persuasive tool.

          I find my own way to educate others. Yes educate. Shouting at them won’t work. In all my law classes, every presentation I made was about the sex offense registry. I’ve spoken of the in Re Taylor case. I’ve provided statistics on re-offense rates. I’ve given presentations on the unconstitutionality of the registry and the IML. Students and professors alike were enlightened with most saying, “I didn’t even know that was happening.”

          Just because most of us aren’t out there shouting “Eff all registry terrorists” or outing ourselves a la Will Allen doesn’t mean we aren’t fighting against the registry. I appreciate that there are people helping any way they can whether it be donations, emailing, letter writing, calling their representative, or writing their own motions to fight the registry.

        • Will Allen

          Roger:

          I appreciate the feedback from you and NPS.

          However, hypocrite is not accurate at all. And I’m not “outing” anyone. In case you didn’t notice, I was arguing that the signs are useless and shouldn’t be done. Have you also not noticed the hundreds of millions of people who are repeatedly yelling that “outing” is their goal and what they want? Shockingly they say that is actually the key goal of the Registries.

          Do you think that people who are listed on the hit lists have any chance of hiding? Do you think these people’s neighbors haven’t been gossiping about them for years? That is what the Registries are for.

          I’m not telling those people to become political activists or do anything. Do you think they are going to listen to me? They can do whatever they like. They can sit around with LE, sing Kumbaya, and bend over every time they are told. I will tell them if they don’t fight back then they needn’t complain much.

          Obviously ACSOL has accomplished a lot. I wasn’t saying anything about that. But it is inaccurate to call me a hypocrite because I was suing these governments before ACSOL was even a thought. In fact, I’ve challenged every un-American thing in my state and helped get piles and piles of it destroyed. Still happening today. I would bet that I’m more active than 99% of ACSOL’s supporters.

          It is true that my “rhetoric” is negative. That is the point. I deliver my positive messages in other ways. If you tire of it, you could not read it. I do often wonder if it is the correct approach or not. I could change some of it but I don’t think it would be good for me to misrepresent how I really feel or reality. I think people too often do that so they can be more PC. I also wonder what would happen if just 10% of Registered people took a message to the public instead of just arguing with each other in private, including on forums that few public members read.

          Also just have to add – just about the only people who care about a “personal story about how the registry has hurt you” do not support the Registries. People who support the Registries don’t care about that.

  31. Dustin

    Interestingly, I’m trying to go to the Sheriff’s web page (not allowed on Facebook or Twitter) to leave a remark or two regarding this subject, but for some reason it won’t open. Not suggesting he took it down, though I wouldn’t discount the possibility. It’s also possible the servers his page is on crashed.

    My daughter checked his Facebook for me looking for responses to my remarks that she posted on my behalf. He got a lot of blowback on this story, and a good bit of it from non-registrants.

  32. Frustrated

    I sent email to sheriff stating that there were no child abuse complaints by registrants, and that it MUST have been due to his signs. I then asked if he knew how many kids got drugs in candy, hurt by strangers, and abused by parents the same night.
    Since a sheriff is an elected office, the game rules are the same as any office decided by voters. Scare them with B.S. then act like you are doing something about it.

  33. Frustrated

    Why does this kind of stuff only happen in rural communities.
    Wether it be California or bum fuck florida, it seems rural areas are hit hardest with legislation and ordinances that target registrants ( and other felonies I’m sure). Are they that bass -ackwards that they are scared of boogie men!

    • Bend Over - Florida Owns Your Ass For Life!

      It is because they are typically Christian communities where that sort of thing is easy. Not too bright.

  34. Frustrated

    I am totally under this guy’s skin. He keeps sending emails. Each one a little more sarcastic. I think I will drag him on a little more, then send a complaint to the city council about harassment from their sheriff.

    • Will Allen

      That is funny as hell. I guess he has nothing better to do. Wonder if he is doing it on the job? Nothing like taxpayers paying for flame wars.

      He is probably trying to bait you into threatening him or something like that. Don’t be a criminal like he is, of course.

      It would be good to report it to the city council. But I expect they are as backwards as he is. There is a state association of sheriffs. I expect that you could file an official complaint with them. I’m sure that they are more professional than the bumpkins are. I’m certain that there are other government organizations that certify LE officers, etc. It would be good to file a complaint with them. Might do nothing useful but people like this pandering sheriff need to have complaints on their permanent records. They are a danger.

      • Frustrated

        Besides doubting his integrity( as a L.E.O) and challenging his grammer ( the guy can’t put a simple sentence together ) I have not done anything. No profanity, threats of retaliation, or any such primitive communication.

        The emails are stored in a file. He asked if I was in Calif. , which suggested he has looked me up. I don’t expect any more response, but I did send a parting jab, which stated my support for Stacy Abrams. I’m sure that went over well.

        • TS

          @Frustrated

          He may have the ability to see the routing of the postings through the coding used to route the message from you to him. IOW, he could see the IP address from the local area where your service comes from, which will show your service provider and area possibly and thus not require any internet search of you personally.

        • AJ

          Or, following up on what @TS posted, he could have (probably against policy) plugged your name into the donut-crumb-laden computer and gotten a NCIC hit.

    • Quinn

      I have yet to receive a response. Please continue to post his responses and emails to you.

      Those emails could very well help someone In his jurisdiction.

  35. FinallyOffTheReg

    Not to point out the obvious, but here is a a classic example of the True safety issues on Halloween. Drunk drivers and parents who are drunk with their kids in the car out “taking them around for safety” on Halloween at twice the legal limit crashing into cars with other parents with their kids taking them in a car for safety so they don’t get hurt by drunk drivers. Glean what you can from the article, and it’s on The Patch, LOL. Amazing, truly irresponsible people at The Patch doing their “beware of these xxyy registered people in Your Town Map, this story got little attention:
    https://patch.com/connecticut/stratford/dad-drove-drunk-during-trick-or-treating-stratford-police

    • Dustin

      Thanks for the link. Went ahead and commented on their discussion board, but doubt it’ll get much attention now.

  36. mike r

    Yeah I bet there would be a major issue concerning a badge of shame affixed to the individual if it stated sex offender, of course if the online registry is not considered such, it may be that you would have to have it attached to you physically and be bound in chains and shackles in a public square. So compelled speach, projected dangerouness, shaming, subjecting to real potential physical harm, man just on and on. They need to attempt all these laws with every convicted felon (over 20% of the country btw) and see how long it last.
    This does appear to be a different tactic thogh if the sign is accurate. No words sex offender on it…

  37. mike r

    Sorry, that was about 8% have felonies.

  38. TS

    Then there is this from Halloween where kids have to not only worry about DUI drivers and which houses to not visit due to signs, lights out, and other factors, but possibly being shot as they trick or treat, which these two unfortunate kids had to face:

    14-year-old girl, 5-year-old brother shot by gunmen while trick-or-treating: Police

    https://www.yahoo.com/gma/14-old-girl-5-old-brother-shot-gunmen-205504324–abc-news-topstories.html

    So, should trick or treating be outlawed as long as it saves one child from one of the many ways they are killed, maimed, or injured on Halloween where is registrant is not involved?

    • NPS

      Lots of news lately of children getting slammed by cars. Today, in Wisconsin, 3 girl scouts were killed by a motorist as they were doing some volunteer community service. As far as reports of RCs violating children…*crickets*.

  39. TS

    Where was LE when this was going on? Isn’t this child endangerment? This is not a town parade!

    10-Year-Old Dies After Falling from Trailer While Trick-or-Treating

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/10-old-dies-falling-trailer-135800545.html

    Again, no registrants are involved, so the hysteria is reasonable why?

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