Out in Ventura County, California, County Sheriff’s Seargent Ron Helus was killed in the line of duty last year during the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill. An investigation revealed that Helus and his fellow officers essentially “walked into an ambush.” This Sunday, a charity event featuring a flag football game, dubbed “the Blue Bowl” was scheduled to raise money to help Helus’ widow and child, along with the families of other LEOs who fell in the line of duty. That’s a nice gesture for those who gave all to serve their fellow citizens, isn’t it?
Except now it’s apparently not going to happen. The event has been “indefinitely postponed” after Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim Hagel withdrew his department from participation. The thousands of dollars already raised are being returned. Why? The Chief was no longer “comfortable” with the event because Trump supporters had been invited to speak there. (Fox News)
A charity event planned in honor of an officer killed in a 2018 mass shooting at a country music bar in in Southern California has been postponed indefinitely — reportedly because a police chief didn’t want Republicans invited.
The Blue Bowl, a charity flag football game, was intended to raise money for the family of fallen Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus as well as other officers killed in the line of duty, FOX 11 of Los Angeles reported…
“He basically said over and over in the conversation, ‘This is not Trump country, that slogan ‘Make America Great’ is not favorable, popular, within 1,200 square miles,’ that we don’t want Republicans here. I could not believe it,” Mike Randall, vice president of the Fallen Officers Foundation, said, according to FOX 11.
Police Chief Tim Hagel went on from there to tell the organizers that the only thing they could have done to make it worse would be to “invite Dick Cheney and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.’
I realize we’re talking about California here, so you should always expect the worst, but is this really how far we have fallen at this point? This wasn’t a political rally or a fundraiser for candidates from one party or the other. This is a senior cop boycotting a fundraiser for fallen officers. Chief Hagel reportedly told the organizers that the Honor Guard would not be attending and that none of his officers would be allowed to show up.
I couldn’t help but notice one comment left at the original article from someone claiming to be a conservative and a Trump supporter who knows Chief Hagel personally. He describes the Chief as being a generally decent man and “an excellent officer.” The commenter goes on to state that he was at the Helus funeral and he saw the Chief looking “genuinely torn up” over the officer’s death. Maybe there’s more than meets the eye here, though I have a hard time coming up with an alternate explanation.
Perhaps if Hagel gets blistered enough in the public square over this there will still be time for the event to go off as scheduled this Sunday. That is, of course, assuming that he has the capacity to feel enough shame to issue an apology and schedule the Honor Guard to attend. But as of this writing, there are no signs that he’s going to try to walk this PR disaster back yet.
Assuming the Chief sticks to his guns, what are the other options for the organizers? Perhaps they could just rely on other, more sane departments to pitch in the manpower and ask the Trump supporters to drum up additional participants. In the meantime, I suppose the widows and children of the fallen officers will just have to wait.