Canton Repository's latest reporting on Harless fiasco leaves much to be desired

by Gerard Valentino

As reported earlier today at BuckeyeFirearms.org, an arbitrator ruled that infamous Canton Police Officer Daniel Harless has to be allowed to return to his job once he has received treatment for depression and post traumatic stress disorder. Harless was fired for threatening to execute concealed carry license holder William Bartlett during a traffic stop.

While it is shocking to think that Harless might be back on the street someday, the arbitrator ruled he cannot return to work until he received treatment for post traumatic stress disorder - a key piece of the ruling that could effectively keep Daniel Harless off the active police force forever.

Gun owners, and anyone concerned with civil rights should be appalled that an arbiter witnessed Harless threaten to execute a law abiding citizen on the dash cam video, and still deemed his firing as unwarranted.

Just as appalling, however, is the one-sided and biased reporting of Canton Repository staff writer Ed Balint who implied that Harless was fired only because of an internet firestorm conjured by the pro-gun community. Balint also made sure to include several quotes from the Fraternal Order of Police attorney, Michael Piotrowski, but failed to include a single quote from a member of the pro-gun, or civil rights community.

From the article:

Harless found himself at the center of an Internet-spurred firestorm after a police car video captured him threatening a man he pulled over about 1:40 a.m. in an area with a reputation for drugs and prostitutes.

During that June 2011 traffic stop, Harless screamed profanities and said he wouldn't have lost any sleep if he would have shot and killed William Bartlett of Brewster. Harless had become enraged after he discovered Bartlett had a loaded .38-caliber pistol, which he was permitted to carry.

"As soon as I felt your gun, I should have took two steps back, pulled my Glock 40 and just put 10 bullets in your ass and let you drop," the officer screams in the video. During the flurry, Harless also said he should have gunned Bartlett down for being stupid.

...Bartlett was behind the wheel of a vehicle stopped in the road in the 100 block of Newton Avenue NW. When the two officers arrived, a woman known to be a prostitute exited the car, police said. A man suspected of being her pimp stayed in the vehicle with Bartlett.

The fact that the concealed carry charge against Bartlett was thrown out, and that he was never charged with soliciting a prostitute, was conveniently left out of The Repository article. Also omitted is the fact that Bartlett has filed a civil rights suit against Harless.

Sadly, Balint's biased reporting anything new and is common among the print media in Ohio - a fact that is even more damaging to the pro-gun movement than the horrific actions of Officer Daniel Harless, because the average Ohioan doesn't realize the story isn't being accurately reflected.

The pro-gun community needs to contact Ed Balint at 330-580-8315 or via email [email protected] and let him know we will not tolerate his attempt to vilify gun owners and concealed carry practitioners.

Gerard Valentino, a former military intelligence analyst, is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.

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