A farming family in Letha, Idaho recently had their house raided and were assaulted by police after a neighbor called the police when overhearing a verbal argument between the husband and wife who owned the house.
In any other situation they would have had a simple knock on their door and the police would check in to make sure that no one was being hurt.
However, Marcella Cruz and Michael Gibbons were flagged in the police department’s database as dangerous individuals because one or both of them identified as “constitutionalists”.
Due to this identification their simple domestic disturbance call was met with a full on swat raid, with the officers scouring the house for evidence of Marijuana.
The officers ripped Marcella Cruz out of the house, and had both her and Michael on the ground in handcuffs, with guns against their heads.
The police found an aquaponics system that was growing tomatoes in an upstairs room of the house and celebrated, thinking that they had found a Marijuana grow operation.
Much to their disappointment they were informed that it was obviously tomatoes, since after all, this was a farm house.
In a recording that surfaced after the raid it is explicitly stated that this couple is being targeted because of their political beliefs. The recording shows the following exchange:
“Are you familiar with these guys?” asked a deputy identified in the 911 recordings as “Officer 57.”
“Negative,” answered another deputy designated “Officer 56.”
“I am, and it’s affirmative, there is [sic] weapons,” continued Officer 57. “He is – or at least was – anti-law enforcement. We’ve had issues with him. He’s a Constitutionalist.”
It seems that the only “issues” that they had with him were the ones that were mentioned, his political beliefs, because otherwise Gibbons has a totally clean record.
According to a recent article about the altercation, the only run in that Gibbons has had with police in this area, is when he was the victim of a theft and they refused to help him.
More than a year ago, Marcella contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report that a man calling himself “Greg Hall,” who had lived with them for an extended period, had stolen money and jewelry from them.
Marcella provided me with copies of e-mail messages in which she and Detective Perecz had discussed the theft – including the suspect’s specific location, which at the time was just across the Snake River in Ontario, Oregon.
“He told me that he couldn’t help us, because the suspect had fled the jurisdiction,” Marcella related to me. “But it’s not as if he couldn’t pick up a telephone and inform the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office, or the Ontario Police.
The bogus `domestic violence’ report that led to the raid on our home was originally received by Payette County and relayed to Gem County. It’s not as if these people can’t talk to each other.”
The Families account of the story is confirmed by what looks to be police video, in the video police dont identify themselves before entering the house, and you can see them rush the house like thugs, ripping Marcella Cruz out by her arm and throwing her to the ground.
The brutal treatment she was given by police left her sore and bruised for weeks, which is sadly ironic considering they were called to the house over a bogus domestic disturbance call that was made by a feuding neighbor.
This is just the most recent situation in a string of cases where people have been targeted with extreme force because their political beliefs were flagged in a state database.
The officer who assaulted Marcella Cruz has been identified as Detective Rich Perecz and so far has suffered no consequences for his actions.
You can listen to the full police audio below: