Marylanders are organizing a rally in support of the subject of the military-like “manhunt” that disturbed the peace of rural Sharpsburg well known in history as the site of the bloodiest day of the civil war (but a very quiet town for the last 150 years!).
See my previous post on the shockingly excessive show of police/FBI force here.
The rally is set for Saturday morning, 11 a.m. outside of Sharpsburg town hall. (Unfortunately I won’t be in the state this weekend to report.)
In the e-mail I received alerting me to the rally, is this anonymous report from a local citizen close to the situation describing in more detail events of that distressing day. (emphasis mine)
Anonymous: They terrorized our town and it’s a miracle we didn’t have another WACO or Ruby Ridge
We the people of Sharpsburg, MD would like to make a statement about events in which occurred on Thursday, Nov. 29th. Our tiny town was invaded by 200+ state police, SWAT, FBI and border patrol agents. The residents communicated through social media and by stopping in the local gas station to find out that a manhunt was going on for a resident by the name of Terry Porter. He is a friend, a hard worker and a well liked person in Sharpsburg. We were all in shock. Rumors floated that he was making bombs in his underground shelter and we stood back and watched as the Boy Scout camp was overrun as a “staging area” for law enforcement. Cars that drove by reported camouflage, bullet proof vests, lots of high powered assault type guns, helicopters, and armored vehicles. Mills Rd. was completely shut down and children’s school buses, residents who lived in the area and family of the man being searched for were unable to access. Residents were told to remain indoors.
As the afternoon progressed, we wanted to help Terry. We overwhelmingly felt helpless that our friend was a victim somehow and that he did not deserve what was happening to him and his wife and children. Someone reported an excavator was traveling down the road followed by armored vehicles and that they were going to dig him out. Others reported seeing an armored tractor trailer followed by several armored vehicles and black police vans head toward Mills Rd . We were so scared for Terry and couldn’t imagine what his family must be thinking. Members of the community traveled down to Mills Rd. in an attempt to plead with the police presence to please let us talk with him and get him out safely. They said they trusted Terry and know he wouldn’t hurt anyone. Our attempts were denied and everyone who attempted was forced to leave. Those who were at the scene reported portable chemical showers in place and insane amounts of law officials.
As afternoon became night, social media became more active and we wanted to organize a group to go down and speak louder our feelings. About that time, the police pulled out and left. We were confused but relieved. They concluded that Terry wasn’t even home the entire time. They also said that his wife and children were. Family reported that the Porter home was ravaged and property destroyed. As they pulled out, we were all so thankful that a tragedy hadn’t occurred but became more angry of the excessive force used in this situation. The WHAG news reported that the police had called off their “manhunt” for the “potentially armed person” who is an “avid hunter” and a “survivalist.” They apparently had the opportunity to speak with many of the locals and mentioned on TV that Terry “sounds like a really nice guy.” That snippet has been deleted and now channel 7 news is reporting the same old rhetoric which makes Terry appear like a terrorist and a threat to society which is untrue. In fact, the only guns in the home were hunting rifles and shotguns like most of our small town who are full of “avid hunters” and whom are “potentially armed.” There were NO bombs or bomb making material. Terry had no plans of attacking or had threatened anyone. He does have an underground shelter that is no secret here in Sharpsburg. The last I checked that wasn’t illegal. He did have a felony conviction some 30 years ago which legally prevented him from owning any weapons so Terry was later charged with those crimes… after he turned himself in peacefully on Friday morning. The town is left with feeling helpless and angry after this whole mess. Hundreds of thousands of tax payers’ dollars were wasted. We, including Terry Porter, are hardworking people just trying to make ends meet. This was absolute overkill and totally wrong. The police had a search warrant and nothing else. They terrorized this town with their speeding trucks and armed troops and it’s a miracle a tragedy such as Waco or Ruby Ridge did not occur.