The false-positive results surrounding a California law reached the culmination of political insanity, as the court ordered all firearms and ammunition to be handed back to the family of the owner in December of last year. However, that is just part of the narrative that turned into a nightmare for one California man.
According to the Sacramento Bee, in 2015 the California Department of Justice seized the 500 guns and rounds of ammunition from Clovis resident Albert Sheakalee. Apparently, Sheakalee’s name showed up in the state’s APPS (Armed Prohibited Persons) database, because he sought mental health treatment. Agents then planned and executed a subsequent raid to take possession of his self-defense paraphernalia. The controversial 12-hour assault on the residence of Sheakalee and family and his arrest garnered national headlines for its ferocity and its false pretenses.
“The arrest of Sheakalee and the gun seizure were highly publicized by the DOJ in a 2015 press release that received widespread media coverage. At the time of the arrest, the DOJ stated that Sheakalee was barred from firearms ownership “as a result of being taken into custody under Welfare and Institutions Code 5150,” under which officers can take someone in for evaluation if they are deemed a danger to themselves or others.”
Sheakalee, who had no previous criminal record, was allegedly caught in the cross hairs of a reelection campaign by an overzealous politician and poorly written legislation eagerly voted into law by ultra-liberal elected officials. At the time of Sheakalee’s shameful arrest by California DOJ officers, acting state boss and Attorney General Kamala Harris needed a big and resounding score to add substance to her pending campaign for the coveted state senate spot. As a firearms owner with a hefty arsenal, Sheakalee was in the wrong state at the wrong time.
The flawed law of California dictates that an individual seeking any type of mental health treatment can unknowingly be added to the APPS and become subject to swift and decisive action from the DOJ. Unfortunately, the precedent of arduous legal proceedings and attorney fees surrounding Skeakalee’s case, is an automatic deterrent to any resident of the state seeking professional help for fear of yielding their Second Amendment rights and spending an inordinate time in court restoring a basic constitutional right.
Even though the court ruled in his favor, Sheakalee and attorney had to wade through the bureaucratic tide of the state DOJ to take back the confiscated firearms and ammo, a task that was not easily accomplished. While the organization lacks any accountability in the Sheakalee matter, it is only matter of time before another blunder of injustice is served pointed and raw.
In a motion filed seeking the return of the guns on Dec. 5, 2016, Coleman argued that the DOJ stated Sheakalee was notified in July of 2015 that he could not own firearms. However, Coleman said, postal records indicate the letter was not delivered until Nov. 25, 2015, 13 days after Sheakalee was arrested for possessing the weapons. No charges were filed against Sheakalee by the Fresno County District Attorney.
On July 12, 2016, according to Coleman’s motion, the DOJ notified Sheakalee that charges against him were resolved, and he was told to contact DOJ Agent Chris Wagner to arrange for the disposition of the firearms. He was given 180 days to do so. The letter, signed by Special Agent Michael Haroldsen, also noted that “all evidence, (all personal property, including firearms) relating to your criminal case will be destroyed” if no response was received.
Coleman said several efforts were made to reach Wagner before Wagner responded and said that he could not release the guns until he contacted his supervisor, DOJ Agent Isaias Rivera. Coleman said when he contacted Rivera, he was told the weapons would not be returned. (The guns were returned this year.)”
Read the full Sacramento Bee story here.