‘Sheriff McFadden was charged with protecting the safety of our citizens, but instead he put them at risk in favor of his radical liberal agenda…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) The Republican candidate in North Carolina‘s closely watched 9th Congressional District race piled criticism on Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden for playing politics while twice allowing a dangerous criminal back on the streets.
State Sen. Dan Bishop, whose district includes much of the county that surrounds the Charlotte metropolitan area, said McFadden should step down for his “reckless policies” and called on his opponent in the U.S. congressional race, Dan McCready to denounce them as well, The Charlotte Observer reported.
“Sheriff McFadden was charged with protecting the safety of our citizens, but instead he put them at risk in favor of his radical liberal agenda,” Bishop said in a statement. “He needs to resign, and other sanctuary sheriffs like him must be stopped.”
Bishop also included a petition on his campaign website for citizens to demand McFadden’s resignation.
McFadden—a former homicide detective and reality television star—ran last year on a platform of withdrawing from agreements with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to honor detainer requests for undocumented criminals.
The refusal to work with federal agencies on the arrest and detention of illegal immigrants effectively confers “sanctuary” status on the Charlotte/Mecklenburg region, although no laws have been passed at the state or municipal level to designate it such.
But McFadden’s policy came under fire last month when Luis Pineda–Ancheta, a 37-year-old Honduran national with a history of domestic abuse, was arrested after a nine-hour standoff at a Charlotte apartment complex, during which a SWAT unit was called.
Even though it was the second time Pineda–Ancheta had been arrested in a short span for domestic violence against a female acquaintance who had a restraining order on him, McFadden again released the criminal.
Despite having issued detainer requests for Pineda–Ancheta, ICE fugitive operations then had to re-arrest him.
Andrew Murray, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, said he recorded his formal objection after Pineda–Ancheta’s second release in order to avoid yet another recurrence.
“It’s unfortunate because that mean[s], really, I’m intervening in significant felony charges,” Murray said, according to WBTV. “Basically, I didn’t want a three-peat. I didn’t want him out again, given the allegations against him, to be a threat to the community or to the victim.”
On Wednesday, the N.C. Senate Judiciary Committee—of which Bishop is a member—scheduled debate over a proposed bill that would address the issue of sheriffs refusing to cooperate with ICE, reported WSOCTV.
The bill, which would require the sheriffs in all 100 counties to honor the detainer agreements, passed the state House of Representatives in April.
Following Bishop’s denunciation, McFadden yet again deflected criticism, claiming it was state and federal authorities who were playing politics with the issue while he was simply fulfilling his constituents’ mandate.
“I appreciate the fact that Sen. Bishop must appeal to the politically conservative base in all of District 9,” McFadden said in a statement.
However, he said, “[I] was elected by the people of Mecklenburg County to represent all of Mecklenburg County, and only Mecklenburg County.”
McFadden added that the detainer agreements and another, the 287(g) program, which deputizes local law enforcement to work on behalf of ICE, created a sense of mistrust and fear within the community, according to the Observer.
“Sen. Bishop has never worked in law enforcement and has no personal experience grappling with the monumental task facing law enforcement every day in our attempts to build trust between our agencies and all segments of a large and fast-growing community,” McFadden said.
“[I]f people do not trust law enforcement, those people will not engage with law enforcement, and crimes will continue to go unsolved,” he said.
McCready—the Democratic opponent running against Bishop in the 9th District race—also responded to Bishop’s statement with one of his own on the controversy.
Without elaborating on what sort of policies he would endorse, McCready called for a “comprehensive” immigration plan that would fix the existing loopholes in the broken immigration system.
“Until we see a comprehensive and bipartisan immigration reform that secures our border, respects our laws and protects our American values, these awful incidents will keep happening,” he said.
The rhetoric mirrored recent statements from ICE and President Donald Trump, while not specifically condemning McFadden or other sheriffs whose refusals undermined federal immigration policies and jeopardized the safety of their communities.
However, many Democrats in Congress have taken a far more radical approach of calling for ICE to be abolished.
The special election for the 9th District seat will be held on Sept. 10 after the state elections board earlier refused to certify the previous Republican victor, Mark Harris, amid accusations of ballot harvesting.
After a monthslong investigation, Harris dramatically withdrew himself during a hearing, citing health concerns.
A recent poll showed Bishop leading in the race by roughly four percentage points, although McCready—who also ran against Harris last November and received substantial outside contributions—enjoyed a sizeable cash advantage.
Liberty Headlines reached out to Bishop for additional comment and will update with any response.