“I’m currently in John Randolph in the psychiatric ward being held against my will,” Brandon Raub, 26, said in a telephone interview with the Times-Dispatch. “They were concerned about me calling for the arrest of government officials.”
Raub accused the government of lying about 9/11 and spoke of “starting a Revolution.”
Lawyers from The Rutherford Institute represented Brandon Raub during the three-hour hearing today at the John Randolph Medical Center and released a statement, saying Raub has been sentenced to “up to 30 days’ further confinement in a VA psych ward” after “government officials again pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the sole reason for their concern and for his continued incarceration.”
According to Raub’s mother, authorities from the FBI, Secret Service and Chesterfield County PD came to their door on Thursday evening, questioned Raub about his Facebook posts, then handcuffed him and placed him in a Chesterfield PD squad car before taking him to John Randolph Psychiatric Hospital in Hopewell, Va.
Both the FBI and Secret Service said Raub was not arrested or charged, but the Rutherford Institute statement points out that “if the police have put handcuffs on you and you’re being held against your will, that qualifies as an arrest.”
When asked about why Raub was placed in a psychiatric ward, FBI Richmond spokeswoman told us that the FBI “had nothing to do with that” and that the FBI typically doesn’t “make determinations such as that.”
“We went out to interview him because of complaints that our office had received about people coming across his posts and perceiving them as threatening so our office along with Chesterfield County Police Department on Thursday,” Rybiski told us. “When we left we had not arrested him, we had not placed our hands on him, we did not detain him and we did not charge him.”
Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said: “The Secret Service assisted the FBI with the interview. He was not arrested by the Secret Service. The Secret Service will continue to monitor the situation. We have no further comment at this time.”
The Chesterfield PD – who had previously said the situation “was an FBI matter and we were just there to assist them” – released this statement (emphasis ours):
Chesterfield Police assisted federal authorities in their efforts to interview Brandon J. Raub on Thursday, Aug. 16. After speaking to Raub, officers believed him to be in need of further evaluation.
Chesterfield officers at the scene contacted Chesterfield Mental Health Crisis Intervention. Crisis workers recommended that police take Raub into custody and bring him in for evaluation.
Chesterfield police took Raub into custody for evaluation in accordance with Virginia State Code § 37.2-808 Emergency custody.
Raub was placed in handcuffs after he resisted officers’ attempts to take him into custody.
Raub was evaluated by a Chesterfield mental health official, who determined that he should be held under a temporary [detention] order and transported to John Randolph Medical Center for additional evaluation.
Raub was not arrested and he faces no criminal charges in Chesterfield.
The Virginia statute states that a mental health professional can decide to issue a temporary detention order if “it appears … that the person (i) has a mental illness and that there exists a substantial likelihood that, as a result of mental illness, the person will, in the near future, (a) cause serious physical harm to himself or others as evidenced by recent behavior causing, attempting, or threatening harm and other relevant information, if any, or (b) suffer serious harm due to his lack of capacity to protect himself from harm or to provide for his basic human needs, (ii) is in need of hospitalization or treatment, and (iii) is unwilling to volunteer or incapable of volunteering for hospitalization or treatment.”
It should be noted that the authority on whether or not Raub displayed signs of mental illness lies with the trained Chesterfield mental health official or officials who evaluated him in person.
“I really love America, and I think that idea that you can be detained and sent somewhere without due process and a lawyer … is crazy,” Raub said.
Raub said he served as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2005 to 2011, was a combat engineer sergeant and does not own a gun. His mother said he returned from Afghanistan about a year ago and does not have PTSD or violent tendencies.
John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, said the following: “For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon. This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here.”