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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/24/2005 12:23:27 PM EDT
Reserve Officer Cleared In 'Druid'-Related Traffic Stop
ACLU Has Demanded Apology To Couple


POSTED: 8:53 a.m. EDT August 24, 2005
UPDATED: 9:14 a.m. EDT August 24, 2005


Story by The Carolina Channel

GREER, S.C. -- An internal investigation has cleared a reserve officer with the Greer Police Department of any wrongdoing in connection with a traffic stop that sparked a religious controversy.

Tony Stewart has been a volunteer officer with the department for 14 years.

In June, Stewart cited motorist Tony Gainey for driving with a suspended license, not having proper license plates or proof of insurance.

Gainey and his wife, D.J., said they're convinced Stewart pulled them over because of the bumper stickers on their car. One of the stickers read, "It's a druid thing."

The Gaineys said they believe in druidism -- a nature-focused religion.

Stewart said the bumper sticker was not the reason for the traffic stop.

"I didn't know what the druids were. Maybe as a Baptist deacon I should know what the druids were. I know now," Stewart said.

Stewart said D.J. Gainey gave him permission to send her a letter inviting the couple to visit his church.

"If I had not wrote the letter inviting them to the church, then God would have something to say to me. He reached out to that family. They pushed and slapped his hand away. That hurts my heart," Stewart said.

The Gaineys said the letter, which "called them to listen to the words from the Baptists," was a religious threat and a violation of their constitutional rights.


Stewart said he has sent dozens of similar letters over the years to people he's met.

"Most of the time they never responded, but I've had a few that it changed their lives," he said.

The American Civil Liberties Union is demanding that the city of Greer drop all charges and apologize to the Gaineys.

Dumb ass. Prweach at your real job. when your working for the PD leave God in your locker.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 12:31:27 PM EDT
I cant take anyone seriously when they say "It hurts my heart"
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 1:11:45 PM EDT
I know the officer. He is a complete out of control nut. Of course the blue line protects him no matter what he has done in the past. This isn't the first time he has been in trouble. This is just the first time he made the front page of the local papers with his hate crimes.z
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 1:24:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:
I know the officer. He is a complete out of control nut. Of course the blue line protects him no matter what he has done in the past.



Are there some born again types in mangement that silently support his preaching on the clock?
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 1:27:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:
I know the officer. He is a complete out of control nut. Of course the blue line protects him no matter what he has done in the past. This isn't the first time he has been in trouble. This is just the first time he made the front page of the local papers with his hate crimes.z




Seems like that goes on way too much...doesn't it?
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 1:28:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By lippo:

Originally Posted By zoom:
I know the officer. He is a complete out of control nut. Of course the blue line protects him no matter what he has done in the past. This isn't the first time he has been in trouble. This is just the first time he made the front page of the local papers with his hate crimes.z




Seems like that goes on way too much...doesn't it?



Oh boy.

Popcorn.... Check.
Ice Tea.....Check.

Clear schedule.... done.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 1:30:16 PM EDT
He may be a deacon, but I bet he wouldn't steal your weed and beat you up.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 1:33:29 PM EDT
This thread hurts my heart.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 1:36:12 PM EDT
If that happened to me, I'd take his invitation to come to the church, and hire 100 hasidic jews to accompany me to Sunday services so they could have a "prayer" in his church also.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 1:53:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 1:57:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 2:05:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Stewart said D.J. Gainey gave him permission to send her a letter inviting the couple to visit his church.




She "gave permission". All she had to do was say, "No thanks".

He did nothing wrong.

And AR15fan, old buddy, I am offended by your reference to him as a "Dumb ass". I guess you must think that I am a dumb ass too.

He did nothing wrong.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 2:08:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zoom:
I know the officer. He is a complete out of control nut. Of course the blue line protects him no matter what he has done in the past. This isn't the first time he has been in trouble. This is just the first time he made the front page of the local papers with his hate crimes.z


And they haven't fired him WHY?
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 2:10:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 2:29:13 PM EDT by IAMLEGEND]

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Stewart said D.J. Gainey gave him permission to send her a letter inviting the couple to visit his church.




She "gave permission". All she had to do was say, "No thanks".

He did nothing wrong.

And AR15fan, old buddy, I am offended by your reference to him as a "Dumb ass". I guess you must think that I am a dumb ass too.

He did nothing wrong.



Wow, it went from Stewart said Gainey did to Gainey did...
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 2:27:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:
And they haven't fired him WHY?


He is being let go with a group of officers. That process started months ago. They are replacing a group of officers with another group that has been to the state police academy since they have the budget now to afford trained officers unlike many of the local small towns in SC. They're allowing him to continue working until his group is laid-off, as if he didn't do anything wrong this time or before. The other officer he was with when this happened was fired just after this incident for something he did in January. I'm still trying to find-out what the other officer did to actually get fired.

The city attorney was quoted in the local paper that the officer did nothing differently from what many of the other officers do. It sounds as if the city supports this (dare I use the term) hate crime. DWB(driving while black) at night isn't a smart thing to do in Greer. I send to crews through that town six nights a week, and I always make sure I no longer have a black employee driving. This isn't even a front page story here. There's very often worse stories about the local cops. I've lived here all of my life, and this issue is minor compared to the police abuse you hear or read about almost daily.z

PS: A local journalist asked him how many people he invited to his church and if he ever invited any blacks. He said he had invited "thousands," but hadn't invited a single black. If this story makes a larger newspaper, that is going to be the headline.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 2:42:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deej86:

Originally Posted By zoom:
I know the officer. He is a complete out of control nut. Of course the blue line protects him no matter what he has done in the past. This isn't the first time he has been in trouble. This is just the first time he made the front page of the local papers with his hate crimes.z


And they haven't fired him WHY?



For one thing he works for FREE. It would be expensive to recruit, hire, train and equip his replcement. But my gut instinct is there are some bible thumpers in management that silently approve of his on duty preaching.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 3:11:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 3:53:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
He may be a deacon, but I bet he wouldn't steal your weed and beat you up.



Link Posted: 8/24/2005 4:00:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 4:43:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By zoom:
I know the officer. He is a complete out of control nut. Of course the blue line protects him no matter what he has done in the past. This isn't the first time he has been in trouble. This is just the first time he made the front page of the local papers with his hate crimes.z
[

"hate crimes". Good one. LOL
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 4:59:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Stewart said D.J. Gainey gave him permission to send her a letter inviting the couple to visit his church.




She "gave permission". All she had to do was say, "No thanks".
He did nothing wrong.

And AR15fan, old buddy, I am offended by your reference to him as a "Dumb ass". I guess you must think that I am a dumb ass too.

He did nothing wrong.



Mrs. Gainey was probably intimidated by the circumstances as a lot of otherwise law abiding
citizens are then they are pulled over.

If I were a local tax payer I would be upset to find out someone was out there furthering their
interests while on my dime.
I would have to call it a conflict of interest.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:26:26 PM EDT
AR15fan-

I don't know why it is, be on every post of your I get a red X. View image notes that their are errors in the file.

Either it's a problem on my side or you may wish to reupload your avatar.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:34:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 5:36:13 PM EDT by krpind]
O_P,
A local city judge was effectivly removed from her bench for sentencing traffic offenders to attend church.

I believe even in the bible belt of East Texas, this is overstepping her authority.

Do you feel it was appropriate for her to sentence traffic offenders to church or should she follow the law?

I would never troll you, I am just curious as to your position on this, since while similar it is more extreme.

Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:38:44 PM EDT
Well, if he got permission from the the people to send an invitation, then he did nothing wrong.

The ACLU is stupid to ask that the charges be dropped.

IF he demanded that they go to his church or write them up, he would have been over the line, but he asked for and recieved permission to send them an invitation, so the couple and the ACLU need to STFU.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:41:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By krpind:
O_P,
A local city judge was effectivly removed from her bench for sentencing traffic offenders to attend church.

I believe even in the bible belt of East Texas, this is overstepping her authority.

Do you feel it was appropriate for her to sentence traffic offenders to church or should she follow the law?

I would never troll you, I am just curious as to your position on this, since while similar it is more extreme.




I wouldn't think you were trolling.

I would only reply that, in the past 225+ years of this Republic, judges sentencing offenders to attend church as part of their sentence was never considered "overstepping authority".

But, in this case, the offender was not sentenced to attend church. She was simply asked if he could send her an invitation to attend church. She could have said "no", or she could have thrown the invitation in the garbage.

Instead, she chose to make a big deal about it.

Why? Because she wants to get off from paying a stinkin' traffic ticket.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:43:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By shotar:
Actually, I see their point. It is completely inappropriate for someone to actively promote one religion over another under color of law.



Sadly, the zealots on this board don't....
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:52:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
I would only reply that, in the past 225+ years of this Republic, judges sentencing offenders to attend church as part of their sentence was never considered "overstepping authority".



While I disagree with that form of punishment, for several reasons ,mainly because of the "lead the horse to water" thing. Your response is thought provoking.


she wants to get off from paying a stinkin' traffic ticket.



Of course, this and she thinks she might get paid.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 6:02:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 6:06:03 PM EDT by Mauser101]
I really don't see what the volunteer officer did wrong.

1. Pulled over an offender.

2. Cited or warned offender.

3. Personally invited offender to take part in religious services with no official repurcussions for saying ya or neigh.


Granted, if zoom does indeed know this officer and his history that would make a differance, but from the story it doesn't not appear that the officer did anything illegal or unconstitutional. Perhaps unethical...but that's up in the air.

While on the job, does a sihk have to ignore the fact that they are a sihk? Apparently not, as NYC decided they had to allow sihks to wear their towels on duty even if it is a violation of official dress code. If I were a jackass I could argue that their headwear is pomotion of their religion and thusly a violation of my 1A right. That is, if I were a jackass or were ever to be caught dead in NYC.

Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:26:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2005 9:27:24 PM EDT by Hydguy]

Originally Posted By Mauser101:
I really don't see what the volunteer officer did wrong.

1. Pulled over an offender.

2. Cited or warned offender.

3. Personally invited offender to take part in religious services with no official repurcussions for saying ya or neigh.


Granted, if zoom does indeed know this officer and his history that would make a differance, but from the story it doesn't not appear that the officer did anything illegal or unconstitutional. Perhaps unethical...but that's up in the air.

While on the job, does a sihk have to ignore the fact that they are a sihk? Apparently not, as NYC decided they had to allow sihks to wear their towels on duty even if it is a violation of official dress code. If I were a jackass I could argue that their headwear is pomotion of their religion and thusly a violation of my 1A right. That is, if I were a jackass or were ever to be caught dead in NYC.




The Air Force allows muslims to wear their headgear.

I remember reading about it. Some muslim chick got all uppity about the suppression of her religious ideal.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 3:41:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mauser101:
I really don't see what the volunteer officer did wrong.

1. Pulled over an offender.

2. Cited or warned offender.

3. Personally invited offender to take part in religious services with no official repurcussions for saying ya or neigh.



IIRC he mailed the guy a letter inviting him to the church. Mailling it to an address he only had becuase he ticketed him. Is a cop using traffic stops/tickets as a way to build his church mailing list acceptable? I dont think so.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 4:40:56 AM EDT
He needed to turn in his gear yesterday. Am I reading right in that this guy has NO state training?
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 4:50:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Stewart said D.J. Gainey gave him permission to send her a letter inviting the couple to visit his church.




She "gave permission". All she had to do was say, "No thanks".

He did nothing wrong.

And AR15fan, old buddy, I am offended by your reference to him as a "Dumb ass". I guess you must think that I am a dumb ass too.

He did nothing wrong.



It shouldn't have even come up. Stop someone on a traffic stop and invite them to your church? How exactly is that appropriate? How is that even connected to the business at hand, the traffic stop? He needs to leave his religion at home.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 5:08:16 AM EDT
The whole muslims wearing religious stuff at work is a croc. When you sign the contract you know the dress code, if your religion says you have to wear something that the dress code says you can't then your religion is telling you not to take the fucking job. Similar thing happened at the FDNY. Menonite firemen won the right to keep their beards even though an SCBA mask can't seal over a beard. These fuckers could die over their beard. If your so religious that your willing to die on the job for your beard, then something is wrong. If they got in trouble or went down, a rit team would have to risk their lives over his stupid beard. So sorry, religion has no place in any emergency service, other than praying for your god to save your ass when SHTF. I'd be a pissed off SOB if I had to go in after a guy that went down because he got a big whiff of phosgene through his beard. When became a reserve officer I'm sure there was just a tad bit of paperwork in there. I bet there was probably a job description. And I'll give my left nut if it said "invite people to your church after you pull them over" It's bullshit and he needs to be repremanded, or fired.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:22:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By Mauser101:
I really don't see what the volunteer officer did wrong.

1. Pulled over an offender.

2. Cited or warned offender.

3. Personally invited offender to take part in religious services with no official repurcussions for saying ya or neigh.



IIRC he mailed the guy a letter inviting him to the church. Mailling it to an address he only had becuase he ticketed him. Is a cop using traffic stops/tickets as a way to build his church mailing list acceptable? I dont think so.



If that is how it worked (used and official record to send a personal item, without asking beforehand) then definately it was unacceptable. If he asked at the stop if he could, then it's out the window.

A pitty, even on a purely retail side. I remember all the hot MILFs that came into the Blockbuster store when I used to have a part time job there. Address, phone number and often credit card info were all maintained for just about every walk in customer.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 6:36:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 6:39:00 AM EDT by Hydguy]

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:
He needed to turn in his gear yesterday. Am I reading right in that this guy has NO state training?



It doesn't matter if this guy has 'training' or not, he's a sworn officer.
I know an auxillary SO who has full arrest powers and he doesn't have any acadamy training. He doesn't get paid either, but he gets the creds, and works in the courts when required, and on special events when the SO needs extra bodies.

ETA: In this area the Sherriff is an elected position, and you don't have to have an LE background to be the Sherriff because it is an elected position. I guess that all the sherriffs' should turn in their gear too.....


Link Posted: 8/25/2005 9:12:36 AM EDT
I'll reserve my comments about"reserves", and just comment that this guy is a loon and an embarrassment.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 10:08:34 AM EDT
A state course called Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) is required to be a reserve officer. If you read his post, it says academy trained - doesn't mean they are better cops. Reserve officers are volunteers and NOT PAID. Most of them paid out of their pocket for the training. They also have to provide most of their gear, including duty weapon. Sheriff's Deputies only require BLET. So here is a person who does the same job without pay who might die in the line of duty just the same. Cut them a little slack, will ya?
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 10:28:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ASNixon:
A state course called Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) is required to be a reserve officer. If you read his post, it says academy trained - doesn't mean they are better cops. Reserve officers are volunteers and NOT PAID. Most of them paid out of their pocket for the training. They also have to provide most of their gear, including duty weapon. Sheriff's Deputies only require BLET. So here is a person who does the same job without pay who might die in the line of duty just the same. Cut them a little slack, will ya?



I'm sorry, but every reserve officer I have ever met, in several states, has been a frickkin loon. Granted, I haven't met EVERY reserve officer in the country, but I have met enough to decide that I'll never turn my back on one.
Link Posted: 8/25/2005 11:22:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/25/2005 11:23:54 AM EDT by Hydguy]

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:

Originally Posted By ASNixon:
A state course called Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) is required to be a reserve officer. If you read his post, it says academy trained - doesn't mean they are better cops. Reserve officers are volunteers and NOT PAID. Most of them paid out of their pocket for the training. They also have to provide most of their gear, including duty weapon. Sheriff's Deputies only require BLET. So here is a person who does the same job without pay who might die in the line of duty just the same. Cut them a little slack, will ya?



I'm sorry, but every reserve officer I have ever met, in several states, has been a frickkin loon. Granted, I haven't met EVERY reserve officer in the country, but I have met enough to decide that I'll never turn my back on one.



Well, then you are not very smart.
I am friends with one who trains MORE than any active cop I've ever met. In addition to that, he is a father, husband, a full time anesthesiologist, and and adjucnt firearms instructor for HK. He has taken just about every firearms class that HK offers to LE (paid out of his own pocket), and is very active in the pro 2A area. He also is an avid collector of Title 1 and II firearms.
I would not hesitate to have him cover my six under ANY condition and would trust him with my daughter's life. I can't say that about ANY full time LE I've ever dealt with.

And I've met many full time cops (in various states) who I wouldn't spit on if they were on fire. So I guess it cuts both ways....
Link Posted: 8/26/2005 4:54:01 AM EDT
I've been trying to find-out more about this guy. I talked to two Greer cops, and both claimed that they hadn't heard about this guy yet. Yeah right. The uniformed patrol captain in a larger city about 15 miles from there is a relative of mine, and he said he believed the officer did nothing wrong. I have several former cops working for me now (some retired and most retired on disability) and several guys that are looking for LEO jobs, and they all think this guy is a hero. I'm amazed at how different people have such different views on a subject as, what I thought was, basic as cops pushing religion.z
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