Sheriff Goes To ‘Drastic Measures’ To Keep Kids Safe, Sex Offenders Sue

4516 0

Three registered sex offenders were angered after the sheriff took “drastic measures” to ensure the safety of kids in his county. Believing their “rights” had been violated, the trio of offenders decided to sue him.

Gary Long
Butts County Sheriff Gary Long (Credit: YouTube)

Butts County Sheriff Gary Long wanted to ensure the safety of kids trick or treating on Halloween, and he came up with a novel plan. A few days before the October holiday, Long instructed his deputies to post a “warning sign” in the front yards of registered sex offenders. “Warning! No trick-or-treat at this address!! A community safety message from Butts County Sheriff Gary Long,” the sign read.

Officers posted the signs to provide residents with a “safe and enjoyable Halloween.” Long also wrote in a Facebook post that Georgia law forbids registered sex offenders from participating in Halloween, which also includes putting up decorations for the holiday.

Yard sign placed on registered sex offenders front lawns (Credit: Butts County Sheriff Department)

“As Sheriff, there is nothing more important to me than the safety of your children. 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’s Facebook post read. “With the Halloween on the square not taking place this year, I fully expect the neighborhoods to be very active with children trick-or-treating. Make sure to avoid houses which are marked with the attached posted signs in front of their residents,” the sheriff wrote. “I hope you and your children have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your sheriff.”

Sheriff Long wasn’t alone in making plans for sex offenders on Halloween. Grovetown Mayor Gary Jones stirred up controversy when he announced that all sex offenders will be placed in the town’s council chambers on Halloween between 6 and 9 p.m. “There are approx. 25-30 offenders and they will be overseen by the GA Dept. of Community Supervision District 10 (4 officers) and accompanied by one Grovetown Officer,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

Corey McClendon, Christopher Reed, and Reginald Holden sued after having signs placed on their lawns. (Credit: Georgia Sex Offender Registry)

This leads us to three registered sex offenders who live in Butts County: Corey McClendon, Christopher Reed, and Reginald Holden. The criminal trio decided to ban together and sue Sheriff Long. “Three registered sex offenders in the county later filed a federal lawsuit, claiming the signs violated their First Amendment rights,” New York Post reported. “A judge initially blocked Long from posting the signs, but denied a permanent injunction and granted summary judgment in favor of Long.”

Sheriff Long has been a thorn in the side of  leftwing activists who routinely call for his resignation claiming he is a “racist” and enacts “racist policies.” So, it wasn’t any surprise when the three registered sex offenders appealed the court’s decision. “A three-judge panel at the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reversed Judge Marc Treadwell’s decision in an opinion issued Wednesday, ruling the oversize signs are ‘compelled government speech’ and violate a homeowner’s First Amendment rights,” New York Post stated.

Gary Long
Local news reported on the issue with 86% in favor of the signs (Credit: YouTube)

One part of the ruling really goes against much of the data about rehabilitation and recidivism in sex offenders. “The judges noted that none of the three sex offenders who sued — Reginald Holden, Corey McClendon, and Christopher Reed — have been classified as posing an increased risk of recidivism. Treadwell also found that they had been ‘rehabilitated’ and were leading productive lives,” New York Post added.

Brenda Carter, a Clinical Therapist at the Residential Sex Offender Treatment Program at the Department of Corrections explained the problem. Specifically talking about sex offenders who prey on children, Carter said it is harder to rehabilitate someone if they only have an attraction to children. “It is a lot more difficult for a (pedophile) who only has sexual attraction and arousal to children,” she said. “They are very difficult if not impossible to rehabilitate.”