Four days ago, former Colorado City police officer Preston Barlow filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Arizona Attorney General and the Arizona Police Officer's Standards and Training Board, insisting that his civil rights have been violated, because of his decertification.
I find this especially ironic, because in 2006 I had occasion to have a somewhat tense encounter with Officer Barlow in Colorado City, Arizona, right outside the Hildale Health Clinic.
Flora and I had gone up to Saint George to attend the initial hearings of Warren Jeffs in the Elissa Wall case. Flora brought with her a trailer load of clothing, books, toys, food, furniture and other items for distribution to women and children who had escaped polygamy. Her Suburbans power steering went out right outside of Kingman, so we were forced to abandon it and attach the trailer to my truck for the trip up there.
We spent the three days delivering the goods, meeting with the families in need and attempting once again to locate Flora's mother. After a long day of hearings in Saint George, where Flora went inside to observe, and I stayed outside schmoozing with the national media, we set out for Colorado City.
Since my truck had Texas plates, we knew it would draw some serious attention in Colorado City. At that time, most of the FLDS residents there were in serious denial that Warren was abandoning them and moving "the elect" to Texas. Many residents at the time refused to believe there was even a settlement there, claiming we were all liars.
We visited the cemeteries first, documenting the baby cemetery in Hildale with photographs.
As it was starting to get dark, we headed for the health clinic, which was the last known residence of Flora's mother, since she had been last 'reassigned' as a concubine to the doctor who lived in the house behind the security gates attached to the clinic.
Flora drove, since she was familiar with the area. We pulled into the driveway and she followed the instructions on the sign, which were to turn off the vehicle's engine and press the button on the call box.
Flora asked to speak to "Mother Pat" and there was a long pause before a voice responded, "Who is this"? Flora laughed and said, "You know damn well who this is. This is Flora, and I want to speak to my mother. Is she in there? Is she still alive?" She was instructed to wait. So we did. By this time it was dark.
A few minutes later a Colorado City Police vehicle pulled up, with lights flashing, blocking us into the clinic driveway. The officer got out of the vehicle and began to approach my truck. At that time both Flora and I exited the vehicle. As the officer approached us, I said "Howdy, sir!", opened the back door of my truck, and out came the network newsman with camera rolling we had brought with us.
Officer Preston Barlow froze where he stood, and it was all I could do not to blurt out as I stood my ground, "Donut"?
Flora walked around the truck to speak to him and said it was nice to see him, calling him "cousin". She explained that she was attempting, again, to ascertain whether her mother was inside and still living. She explained to Officer Barlow that she wished to file a missing persons report on her mother and he refused to do it, insisting she was fine.
Flora asked him if he liked his new job as a police officer and he expressed that he did indeed enjoy it, then called for back up from Washington County. A Washington County Sheriff's Deputy car arrived, shortly thereafter, to block us in as well.
The camera man milling around the driveway, with tape rolling, was obviously making officer Barlow quite nervous. After his repeated refusal to fill out a missing persons report for Flora, she looked at him and said, "Well, Cousin Preston, I hope you have enjoyed this job because you're not going to get to keep it, I'll guarantee you that much".
The Washington County Deputy was very cordial and told Flora he would take the missing persons report for her, since Colorado City's Officer Barlow refused.
We were asked to clear the driveway for an incoming vehicle with an emergency and we complied by pulling the truck out and to the side of the road, where the W.C. Deputy took her report.
The clinic in Hildale receives public funding from the state of Utah and is listed on their state health department's website as a location where one can receive AIDS testing, WIC assistance and flu shots. It is, however, set behind a tall security fence, stretching right out over a road maintained by Washington County and they refuse treatment to all but loyal members of the FLDS in good standing...thus creating a 'religious test' for treatment.
Has anyone bothered to ask about the civil rights violations of the FLDS apostates who are denied medical care by this state funded medical clinic?
How ironic that Preston Barlow believes his civil rights have been violated.