A small town Arkansas police chief has resigned, claiming that the torching of his personal vehicle soon after the conviction of an open carry advocate was a threat to his family’s safety:
Bald Knob Police Chief Erek Balentine is resigning, saying he feels that doing so will better the safety of his family.
His announcement of resignation comes just days after his truck was vandalized overnight. The phrase “2 Amendment” was written in spray paint on the sides of the vehicle.
Balentine said the courts had recently found someone guilty in an open-carry case that his department had worked, so it is believed there could be a connection to the crime.
The vandalism and arson of the chief’s vehicle would seem to be a gross overreaction to a relatively minor open carry conviction that is being appealed, and which stands a good chance of being overturned.
Though he has apparently since changed his mind, Chief Balentine originally said that he would not be cowed by the incident:
Balentine says the message the arsonist was trying to send didn’t work.
“They really didn’t get a message. The message that I’ve heard a lot is they basically want me to back off. They want me to stop. They basically want me to leave it alone and that’s not going to happen. Burning my truck didn’t help,” Balentine said. “It actually makes me want to enforce more and go forward with it until we can get higher courts to give an answer.”
From the beginning, this vandalism and arson incident has seemed… odd.
Open carry supporters are sometimes acerbic, and sometimes get arrested in incidents of civil disobedience, but with one notable exception, they are typically monotonously law-abiding.
The investigation into the destruction of Balentine’s vehicle is on-going.
It’s going to be very interesting to see who is eventually arrested for the crime.