THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Ex-Marine put into psych ward for Facebook posts
by: Economic Policy Journal - Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Raub's lawyer petitions court for illegal detention
by: Cheryl K. Chumley
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Protesters gather outside John Randolph Medical Center Wednesday, Aug.
in Hopewell, Va., where Marine veteran Brandon Raub was detained for
evaluation after allegedly making inappropriate Facebook posts. Photo
Credit:WTVR.com UPDATE: 'Outraged' judge frees veteran Raub from Virginia
The attorney for the former Marine who was forced into a psychiatric ward
for anti-government Facebook postings filed a petition Wednesday claiming
law enforcement did not uphold Virginia laws for involuntary detentions.
³The law requires that within four hours of detaining someone, you have
have a magistrate write a petition for a temporary restraining order,²
John Whitehead, an attorney with the Rutherford Institute, the
Virginia-based civil rights firm that is defending the ex-Marine. ³They
didnıt do that. That didnıt happen.²
Brandon Raub, 26, was taken into custody at his Richmond, Va., home
Thursday, Aug. 16, by FBI and Secret Service agents and Chesterfield
Police. He has yet to be charged with a crime; he was handcuffed and
in the back of a police vehicle and transported to the police department.
From there, he was admitted to the John Randolph Medical Facility in
Hopewell for a psychiatric evaluation.
³They did not charge him with anything,² Mr. Whitehead said in an
Wednesday with Times247.com. ³He was in his underwear, in his living
he sees a group of police, FBI agents walking up, he talks with them,
asked about some Facebook postings, they handcuff him.²
The Facebook postings the biggest clue so far to the reasons for his
detention were part of a private chat, inaccessible without an
invitation, and included anti-government sentiments and warnings of
³This was a closed group, not public, not a posting on a wall,² said
Cathleen Thomas, Mr. Raubıs mother, in a Wednesday morning interview.
had to hack in to it to see it, then they took the comments out of
But agree with him or not, agree with his comments or not, the bigger
question is, why is the government checking on postings in the first
The point is, he has a right to free speech.²
Mr. Whitehead said the postings were part of an Internet game and stemmed
from song lyrics. Regardless, Mr. Raub has still not been charged with
crime or even officially arrested, Mr. Whitehead said. He has been
transferred to a facility four hours from the family, however, for up to
more days of psychiatric evaluation.
³I got a call saying he arrived last night about 10 oıclock at the VA
hospital in Salem,² Mrs. Thomas said. ³Theyıre doing intake on him now.²
The intake evaluation will decide whether Mr. Raub will be placed in the
psychiatric ward, and for how long, Mrs. Thomas added.
³Weıre going to file to get him out. Thatıs the ultimate goal,² she said.
³Driving four hours to see him, thatıs going to be completely
But thatıs what weıll do.²
Mr. Raub is a decorated Marine who served as a combat engineer for six
years in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mrs. Thomas said. His second tour in
Afghanistan ended in March 2011, and he left the military with a
rank and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, she said.
said her son received an honorable discharge and was not taking any
medication either during or after service.
He lives with his brother and two roommates two miles from Mrs. Thoması
³I spoke to him almost every day. I had day-to-day contact with him,² she
said, noting nothing in his demeanor or behavior that would suggest law
enforcementıs treatment of him was justified.
³Weıre just a very politically active family," Mrs. Thomas said. "We keep
our pulse on that, on the Constitution, weıre commanded to do that,
actually, by the Founding Fathers.²
Mrs. Thomas suggested it was this outspoken political activism that drew
the attention of the government. Mr. Whitehead suggested the same thing.
³The biggest thing [about Mr. Raub] in his profile is heıs a 9-11
Mr. Whitehead said. ³Heıs a Ron Paul libertarian. But so what? Thomas
would have been put into an institution" by that standard.
"I find this to be very dangerous and bizarre," Mr. Whitehead said. "If
can be taken away without being charged with a crime this is a scary
The hearing to contest Mr. Raubıs detention which is still not backed
the required magistrateıs order, Mr. Whitehead said will take place
Thursday at District Court in Hopewell.
³We will appeal² if the hearing does not lead to release of Mr. Raub, or
a written order explaining his detention, Mr. Whitehead said.
Mr. Whitehead is also challenging the transfer of his client to a remote
facility and fighting to bring him back to the Richmond area, he said.
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