On Thursday, May 31, 2018, I visited Leon Valley City Hall to submit an official complaint about illegal anti-gun signs. Late that same night, SWAT searched my home, seized my property, and arrested me on a bogus felony charge.
According to the Texas Attorney General website:
“When uncooperative governments post signs to ban Texas citizens from carrying where it is legal, they are breaking the law and infringing on Texans' Second Amendment rights… Individuals who observe violations must first file a complaint with the government that appears to be in violation.”
The Leon Valley City Hall houses multiple city departments, including the city administration and police department. The entrance to City Hall is marked with a large stylized “Leon Valley” sign above the door. To the right of the door is a display about the February 2016 dedication of the “Leon Valley Municipal Facility.” The entrance is not portrayed to be a court.
Past the outside doors, the City of Leon Valley posted illegal 30.06 and 30.07 signs, which purport to exclude gun owners from the municipal facility. Governments oftentimes later claim that they do not and never did enforce illegal laws or policies, so I carried a rubber fake gun to see if I would actually be excluded from City Hall. I filmed the entire visit for my safety.
I was told to leave; however, I was never screened. I put the fake gun in my vehicle. While outside, police told me “everything will be fine” and that “there is no problem.” I returned to City Hall to submit the complaint against the illegal signs.
I spoke to several police officers. Leon Valley Police Lieutenant Anderson was hostile to me the entire time, telling me to talk “until my ears bleed,” to “solicit [my] confrontation,” and that a confrontation is “what [I] want.” He refused to identify himself when asked, and he tried to take my complaint away from me.
I submitted my complaint to Police Captain Saucedo. Saucedo and I parted cordially and with a handshake.
While at home with my wife, children, and grandchildren later that night, around 20 police officers—led by Leon Valley Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio—raided my home and searched my car. They forced us to the ground and handcuffed us. They seized all of my cameras, computers, phones, memory cards, camera equipment, guns, and even my internet modem, infringing my 1st Amendment right to document and expose the activities of government.
I was arrested and taken to jail on a 3rd Degree Felony charge. And I was trespassed from all City of Leon Valley property.
Although Leon Valley Police tried hard to censor the video account of their behavior at City Hall, I have backup video of what happened.
Dear Governor Abbott, Legislators, Mayor Riley, and Chief Salvaggio:
I am outraged at the Leon Valley Police Department's abuse of lawful Texans. It is unacceptable for government employees to retaliate against citizens for documenting government activity and filing complaints.
Local governments must uphold our 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment rights, and they must be held accountable when they infringe upon such core rights of humans, protected by the Constitution.
We shall be treated as equal citizens by government employees and not as abused subjects.
I petition you to immediately drop all charges against Jack Miller and all others abused by the City of Leon Valley. I respectfully request you to immediately cease the enforcement of abusive laws and policies and to invalidate all criminal trespass warnings. Finally, I ask you to fire all government employees who abuse citizen activists.
I support Jack Miller and will do everything in my power to hold Leon Valley accountable for the series of abuses against government accountability advocates. If you fail to correct the serious abuses against Texas citizens, I will fight to replace you with a leader who will protect the rights and freedoms of Texans.