Update October 8th: Controversy expands; see updated post HERE.
Here we go again - the politically-correct fascists are trying to take down a good man because he sinned against the Gospel of Political Correctness. Gary Jensen, the newly-appointed police chief in Logan, was found to be in a video shot two years ago in Vernal where Jensen, then the Vernal police chief, was participating in a demonstration involving one man hitting another in the buttocks with a pair of nunchucks. Logan Municipal Council members were e-mailed a copy of the video by an unidentified person on Sunday October 4th. The video has now been dunned the "Vernal Ass-Whip" video, and has also drawn fire from Salt Lake Crawlmeister Glen Warchol. Primary media story in the Cache Valley Daily.
According to Gary Jensen's full explanation of the incident, the Vernal City Police Department provided security for a concert a couple of years ago. The band and stage crew were gathered together following the concert after the crowds had dispersed. One of the band members noticed Jensen wearing a Orcutt Police Nunchaku, similar to the way an officer may carry an ASP baton, or a PR-24. The weapon is designed around the idea of being a less aggressive intermediate weapon than a night stick and is largely used as a come-along device. It is used by wrapping the tool around arms, wrists, or ankles over striking to gain compliance of a non-compliant person.
Anyway, the band member was intrigued by the device, conversation ensued, and he asked Jensen if he could see the tool. Jensen allowed him to look at the weapon while he continued to talk with the other band members. The man took a few steps and struck his friend across the buttocks, with his friend's permission, in a joking manner. Jensen immediately took the weapon back, and the incident was over. He had no idea this had been filmed or edited in such a way to make it appear the action was condoned or supported by him. Additionally, Jensen handed out a few police department memorabilia coins that evening. The video narrator made it sound as if the coin were given to the individual that had been struck almost as if it were a "trophy" given by Jensen for the incident. Jensen further states that the YouTube clip has been edited out of context and simply does not represent accurately the events of that evening.
The above explanation was part of a letter Jensen sent to Logan Mayor Randy Watts. At Tuesday's meeting (Oct 6) of the Logan Municipal Council, council members will vote on whether to confirm Watts' selection of Jensen as the city's new chief of police. Logan City Recorder Teresa Harris told KVNU's Jennie Christensen on Monday that Jensen had been in contact with all members of the council and the mayor throughout the day. Update October 7th: The Logan Municipal Council has now decided to delay the vote until their October 20th meeting. The decision was not made out of non-support, but simply to allow the dust to settle. Word is that most council members consider the issue a tempest in a teapot.
On Wednesday September 30th, 2009, Mayor Randy Watts announced that he had selected Gary Jensen as Logan's new police chief out of a field of 50 applicants, 10 of whom were interviewed by city officials. Jensen's diverse, detailed, and distinguished background in multiple facets of public safety carried the day. His credentials were published by the Deseret News and in a September 30th Cache Valley Daily story. His predecessor, Russ Roper, stepped down under fire in August for allegedly "losing the respect of members within his own department".
According to the Logan Herald-Journal, the mayor does not regret his decision to hire Watts. Watts said he’s reviewed the video and that its contents do not change his mind about Jensen’s professionalism. He added that Vernal city officials weren’t concerned with the video when it first appeared in 2007, and, after viewing it on YouTube, dismissed it. Update October 7th: The Vernal Express picked up on this story, primarily replicating the reports of other media outlets, without adding anything unique. No public comments have been appended to the story.
Comments to the media stories show most community members dismiss it as much ado about nothing. Combined with the mayor's continued support of Jensen, it's likely the the council will confirm the selection of Jensen without much debate. That's as it should be; if Vernal had no problem with Jensen, then Logan shouldn't have a problem with him either. It's time to shut these politically-correct squarebritches down.