Threats Against the Governor?

February 4, 2013

The Saipan media is headlining a story that Saipan resident Brian Kendall was arrested for threatening Governor Fitial. The Marianas Variety quoted Kendall as saying, "He is worthless. He shouldn’t resign. He should die."

Kendall is a pro-impeachment, anti-corruption advocate.

Saying someone should die is not considered a threat. Saying you are going to hurt someone or kill someone is a threat.

Saying you are going to hit someone with a bat or pipe (if that is what was actually said) is a threat.

The Saipan Tribune reported:
The defendant also allegedly told Joyner that when the governor uses the back door to avoid the media, he will be there at the same time “and bash him with the metal pipe or aluminum bat.”
Kendall said he may have raised his voice, but denied making threats, according to KSPN news.

Kendall was arrested for making "terroristic threats" and disturbing the peace. I abhor violence of all kinds. However, I also understand spontaneous outbursts and wild talk. Kendall was interviewed by KSPN. Based on his interview, it appears that his "threat" was not serious. He appears to have been releasing frustration with words that should not have been said.  His actions were wrong.  But do they rise to the level of "terroristic threats"?

The judge does not seem to consider that Kendall is a serious threat to the governor since he reduced his bail from $5,000 to $500. The judge, Joseph Camacho, is a strong Fitial ally.

Still, the double standard in the CNMI is not acceptable.

If an opponent of the governor can be arrested for his speech then why wasn't the former police commissioner, Ramon Mafnas arrested? Mafnas pulled a gun on an innocent man and threatened to use it! How many innocent people did this thug threaten? Mafnas was not held accountable, but instead he was removed as DPS Commissioner and appointed as the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections. The whole affair is outrageous!

Why wasn't the police officer who shoved KSPN reporter Tina Sablan at the Saipan International Airport arrested or suspended? Now that was a threatening and criminal act.

Former police commissioner Ambrosio Ogumoro threatened to "kill Fitial and blow up DPS", yet the governor actually appointed him as acting commissioner, and more than once.

Selected enforcement of laws is just another symptom of the corrupt Fitial Administration.

The CNMI is screaming for social change and an end to the corruption and injustice. Frustrations are overflowing.  In days to come as the impeachment vote draws near, tensions are going to escalate. Fitial and his allies will use every dirty trick imaginable to maintain the throne and power.

Those advocating for change should resist the urge to play by the opponents' rules. The best path to social change is the high road of nonviolent action.

Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of civil rights heroine, Rosa Parks. She fought segregation with civility, poise and dignity because she learned to keep her rage and anger inside. She won.

After the Montgomery Bus Boycott when the courts ruled that buses had to be desegregated, Dr. Martin Luther King and Rev. W. J. Powell issued a page of suggestions for the African Americans who would be reboarding the buses. The page contains wise advice. In part:
"This is a historic week because segregation on buses has now been declared unconstitutional. Within a few days the Supreme Court Mandate will reach Montgomery and you will be reboarding integrated buses. This places upon us all a tremendous responsibility of maintaining, in face of what could be some unpleasantness, a calm and loving dignity befitting good citizens and members of our Race. If there is violence in word or deed it must not be our people who commit it." 
". . . If cursed, do not curse back. If pushed, do not push back. If struck, do not strike back, but evidence love and goodwill at all times."
In any moral fight it is always best to behave so that the bad guys and good guys can be clearly distinguished.


Anonymous said...

If Kendall threatened to beat a contract worker to death with a metal pipe you would call for jail time. Your logic is, because Ramon Mafnas made threats it should be okay for Kendall to threaten the safety of the Governor. Or is this just because he threatened Fitial? Talk about spin!

Wendy Doromal said...

2:44 "IF", is the word. Saying the governor should die is not a threat, saying he would kill him is a threat. On the KSPN newscast even Joyner never actually came out and said that Kendall threatened to do that -watch it. He danced around the words. If this man was threatening the governor why didn't Joyner and the bodyguard have him arrested on the spot? Did they decide to exaggerate Kendall's words to drum up sympathy for the pathetic governor? Who knows, but the fact that he was not arrested immediately sure suggests that is the case.

Kendall said he did not threaten the governor. If Kendall actually said that he would bash Fitial with a pipe or bat, of course that is a threat and he should be held accountable. He said he did not say that.

Do you know how many employers and officials threatened foreign workers and carried out threats and were never prosecuted? Do you know how many officials actually threatened me and my family members (in front of witnesses) and were never arrested? The CNMI is notoriously unfair and selective in arresting people.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, since you mention MLK,an Rosa Parks I will relay a short story of a true incident that I was involved in in the early sixties in a true Old Southern State, Mississippi.
After boot camp we all had one month of "R&R" before we were to be sent to our respective advanced training bases.
Since I and a couple of others had no close family and the cost to go back to where we each had enlisted from was out of some of our reach we decided to take up an invitation from a fellow enlistee and spend time with him and his family in his home.There was four of us, total.
We took a bus to our friends home town in Mississippi.
(I was completely naive to racial bias)
Boarding the Greyhound bus from our boot camp was no problem.
Mississippi was where the problem began and opened my ignorant eyes when we boarded another bus to our final destination.
In our group there was one black guy (our host)a guy from Hawaii who was really dark skinned, a Haole and me who was fairly lite skinned.
My black friend ad the Hawaiian were directed to the back of the bus.
The problem came when my Hawaiian friend refused to sit in the back of the bus and me and my Haole friend tried to sit in the back of the bus with our black friend.
The Hawaiin even showed his Hawaiian drivers license to prove he was not a Souhtern black guy. At that time the Hawaii License listed racial extractions on it.
Whites people were not allowed to sit with black in the back of the bus and Visa versa.
The bus drive refused to move the bus until this guy seated in the back and we sat in the front.(BTW we were all in uniform)
Long story short, police came and there was major problem, we all ended up in jail.
Eventually a civil rights lawyer and some FBI officials along with some Army brass, came to the jail (very bad place)and we managed to get out and go back to our various newly assigned bases.
I was assigned to Sukuran, Okinawa for training and then on to VietNam as a Military adviser.
I have never set foot in the US mainland since that time and don't care to.
I have worked and spent all of my life in Asia and the Pacific areas.
In the NMI we have about the same thing here except it is the haves and the have not's that are politically connected calling the shots.
If you do not claim a side and bow to the powers then you are left out in the cold.