A North Carolina couple who were terrorized by a police officer who had recently returned from Iraq are now fighting back, after sheriff's deputy Brian Scarborough broke into their house, assaulted them and then arrested the Kuhns for the crime of flying an upside down U.S. flag.
Mark and Deborah Kuhn of Asheville, North Carolina made headlines last week when they were arrested for flying an upside down U.S. flag, a commonly recognized sign of distress, in their backyard, after police claimed they were violating a statute for "desecration of the flag".
As is supported by the United States Flag Code as well as a similar incident in 2001, flying the flag upside down is not a mark of disrespect, and in fact is considered by many to be the highest form of patriotism.
However, since 9/11 there have been several cases where individuals have been harassed, intimidated and even arrested for inverting the flag, by those who confuse a love of government with a love of country.
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Buncombe County Sheriff’s deputy Brian Scarborough had just returned from Iraq and according to the Deborah Kuhn, was sent by his staff Sergeant from the local National Guard to "deal with" the Kuhns after a local resident complained about the flag, a fact that was later admitted on TV news. A National Guard soldier in military fatigues had also previously visited the Kuhn's to harass them about the flag.
"This is a distress signal, we're not trying to desecrate the flag," Kuhn told Scarborough when he told the couple they were violating a statute. Police claimed the messages attached to the flag were the problem, but the notes merely pointed out that the upside down flag represented a distress signal and a warning that the country was in danger.
Even though Kuhn took the flag down, the officer immediately demanded that the couple show their ID's and when they refused told them to put their hands behind their back and was about to arrest them before the couple shut and locked the door.
Scarborough then proceeded to kick the door in, "And the next thing we know, the glass is flying, he unlocks the deadbolt and he comes into our house after us," Kuhn told The Alex Jones Show.
The officer then pursued Mark Kuhn through the house before intercepting him in the kitchen and putting him in a choke hold.
Deborah Kuhn called 911 to report that the officer had broken into the home and was assaulting her husband.
The officer then pulled out pepper spray to which Mark Kuhn responded, "Are you going to spray me in my house?" before Scarborough whipped out his billy club and the Kuhn's ran out of the house into the street, pleading for help from their neighbors.
"Nine police cars showed up, they whipped out the Tasers, they said 'get down we're gonna Taser you' added Kuhn.
The couple were handcuffed, arrested and bundled into a squad car, to the protests of numerous neighbors who demanded to know why the Kuhns were being incarcerated, but were told to leave by police.
Contradicting the police's account of the incident, that Buncombe County Sheriff’s deputy Brian Scarborough was injured when the Kuhn's slammed the door on his hand, Deborah Kuhn vehemently maintains that Scarborough smashed the glass of their door with his bare fist before breaking in, a description which is backed up by three other eyewitnesses, one of which appeared on TV later that day.
The Kuhn's are now also being charged with "assault on a government employee" - meaning that the new definition of assault is if a police officer cuts his hand by breaking into your house and putting you in a choke hold - you have assaulted him.
Scarborough claims that Deborah Kuhn slapped him while she was on the phone to the police, but the audio file of the call (listen here) clearly contradicts this.
They each face over a year in prison.
The Kuhn's case is similar in many ways to that of Kelly Rushing, a man from Lyon County Kentucky, who was arrested and charged for handing out videotapes of Ron Paul videos to police officers. Rushing was later found not guilty of the offence of "terroristic threats" but continues to be harassed by police.
It also mirrors the case of an Alabama man, who was arrested in 2004 for displaying a sign in his yard that read "Our Courts System is a Joke," under the pretext that it was illegal to criticize the authorities.
We are encouraging our listeners and readers to call the following number and remind the officials concerned that this is not Russia or Nazi Germany, and that officer Scarborough's conduct was shameful and an insult to everything America is supposed to stand for.
Scarborough's experience in Iraq of kicking down doors and taking innocent people to camps is not something that should be brought back to America, and the charges against the Kuhns should be dropped immediately along with a formal apology issued.
Sheriff Van Duncan's Office: 828-250-4503
Click here to listen to the interview with Deborah Kuhn.
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