One of the Democratic candidates in Georgia’s two U.S. Senate runoff elections, Rev. Raphael Warnock, allegedly obstructed a police investigation into child abuse at a church-affiliated summer camp, according to state police records obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, Fox News reported Friday.
Warnock was “extremely uncooperative and disruptive” of the 2002 probe, and he demanded that the camp’s attorneys should be present when officers were interviewing the camp counselors, according to the documents. This is despite the fact that the counselors could only request a lawyer for themselves, whereas Warnock could not do so on their behalf. The Democratic senatorial candidate was senior pastor of the church that operated the camp at that time.
Warnock, the pastor at the same Atlanta baptist church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had also been a pastor, is running against incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) in a runoff for one of Georgia’s two Senate seats up for election on January 5. While both elections will take place on that date, voters can begin casting early ballots this Monday.
During a December 7 debate between the two opponents, Warnock called Loeffler “a liar” when she claimed he had been arrested for obstructing a probe into child abuse.
“[I was] working at trying to make sure that young people who were being questioned by law enforcement had the benefit of counsel, a lawyer or a parent,” Warnock explained. “The law enforcement officers actually later thanked me for my cooperation and for helping them.”
One of the reverend’s campaign officials defended Warnock to Fox News, saying the fact checks reveal that Loeffler’s obstruction allegations were not accurate.
“This is yet another one of Senator Loeffler’s lowest of the low attacks that independent fact checkers have said is ‘mostly false,'” the Warnock campaign’s rapid response director, Michael Brewer, told Fox News. “The truth is he was protecting the rights of young people to make sure they had a lawyer or a parent when being questioned. Law enforcement officials later praised him for his help in this investigation.”
The names in the 18-year-old police record have been redacted, however, the reports line up with news articles about the incident, which led to Warnock’s arrest, according to Fox News. The two unnamed ministers, whom the criminal complaint was filed against, are only referred to in the documents as “the reverends.”
At the request of a prosecutor, it should be noted, criminal charges were later dropped. “Miscommunication” is what the prosecutor assigned blame.
On July 31, 2002, investigators arrived at Camp Farthest Out in Eldersberg, Maryland. Police reports described how the two reverends allegedly disrupted interviews.
“This investigator informed [camp administrators] that if the counselors requested that an attorney be present that was their right, however, no one else could [invoke] their rights to an attorney on their behalf,” the report reads.
Notably, the arrest of Warnock and his colleague Rev. Mark Andre Wright after being charged with obstructing a police investigation at the camp was reported in a 2002 Baltimore Sun article, according to Fox News.
Neither of the clergymen, a state trooper assigned to the case said, were suspected of being involved in the original criminal complaint that brought the police to the camp.
The officer would not describe the nature of the abuse, but Warnock later said it was not sexual and refused to comment further, per Fox News.
Want more details from this story? Click here to read the full original Fox News report here.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Oklahoma passes bill banning majority of abortions from ‘moment of fertilization’
Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law on Wednesday which bans virtually all abortions “from the moment of fertilization.”
“I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to keep that promise today. From the moment life begins at conception is when we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect that baby’s life and the life of the mother,” Stitt said in a statement. “That is what I believe and that is what the majority of Oklahomans believe.”
The state legislature first approved the bill, which goes into effect immediately, last week. It bans abortions from the moment of fertilization, except for in cases where rape or incest occurred, or where the mother’s life is in danger.
The law also allows for private citizens to sue doctors or those who participate in “producing an abortion for up to $10,000, mimicking the enforcement mechanism in Texas’s fetal heartbeat law” reports National Review.
Under the new law it is a felony offense to perform an abortion, “which will take effect in August unless a court challenge blocks it.”
Gov. Kevin Stitt has signed into law the most restive abortion ban in the United States. pic.twitter.com/nDjCQcG7UI
— Storme Jones (@StormeJones) May 25, 2022
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