A New York law enforcement officer radicalized by a sect of sheriffs who believe they don’t have to obey state or federal law said he’s going to arrest teachers who affirm gender identity, as they are mandated to do by state law, newly surfaced video shows.
Sheriff Mike Carpinelli, a reported member of the extremist group the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, pledged to ignore state law in the New York county he patrols during a Facebook live-aired show “Save NY” earlier this year.
“This is what I plan on doing,” Carpinelli said. “If any parent goes to school, they find out that the administration is pushing this pedophile, this anti-gender crap…we’ll take a formal complaint from you.
“We’ll arrest that school teacher,” Carpinelli said. “We’ll arrest that superintendent.”
The Lewis County sheriff’s oath aligns with the beliefs of an organization whose reach has begun to spread across the nation.
The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association is led by former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, who believes a county sheriff represents the ultimate authority in his district and should not obey federal or state law or measure he deems unconstitutional, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Mack, who earned national fame by successfully challenging gun control law in the Supreme Court, has been able to win state approval for “trainings” in Montana and Texas, the ADL notes.
In Lewis County, Mack follower Carpinelli has become beloved, according to his Save New York interviewer.
“You are there for the people, I love it, everyone loves it,” said Charles deFrank. “Everyone here loves you. Everyone here loves Sheriff Carpanelli.”
Outside of Lewis County, the feeling Carpanelli inspires is not quite love, according to a new profile from North County Public Radio.
Paul Smith’s College professor Joe Henderson fears his ideology, he told NCPR.
“It’s this kind of belief that you should be deferential to certain kinds of authority, and anybody who deviates from that authority needs to be punished,” said Henderson.
“To me, as a scholar who studies these things, it smacks of authoritarianism.”
Carpinelli is one of eight constitutional sheriffs in New York and among dozens nationwide, according to the report.
In his rant, Carpinelli also targets libraries that host Drag Story hours as part of an “anti-gender” movement that uses “mind control” on children.
“Be the people who have to stand up for our children,” Carpinelli urged viewers. “We have to do it.”
Carpinelli noted he can’t “haul’m to jail,” but he had a very specific game plan for parents who want to target teachers in his county.
“Let the media know afterwards,” he said. “I don’t have to, the parents can.”
New York in July passed legislation designating the state as a “safe haven” for trans children as “Don’t Say Gay” laws spread across conservative states nationwide.
In 2019, the state also amended its Human Rights Law to protect gender identity and expression at work, home, public spaces and schools.
Studies have shown two-thirds of LGBTQ young people, four times more likely to attempt suicide, say “Don’t Say Gay” school policies have a profound and detrimental impact on their mental health, according to research from the advocacy group The Trevor Project.
And as Wesleyan government professor John Finn reportedly argued, the sheriff’s injection of religious beliefs into county law could have negative consequences for all residents of Lewis County.
“It means the local county sheriff is the ultimate bulwark against people messing around with God’s work,” Finn told NCPR. “It allows them to imagine themselves as the great defenders of God’s plan for America.