the removal of pro-gun signs a Somers resident had placed on what town officials have described as town-owned property.Somers Police Chief Michael Driscoll wants to set the record straight and confirm that Somers Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy was not involved in
A police officer was caught on hidden camera removing Jon Gibson's "Protect the Second Amendment" sign from his lawn last Monday. The story and images have since gone viral on the Internet.
Read Patch's full story here.
"We do our job, respond to complaints and patrol our town," Chief Driscoll said in a statement. "Supervisor Murphy did not direct the removal of the sign. The officer removed it because the police received complaints and it was in the public right of way."
Chief Driscoll's comments were made in response to Westchester County Executive Candidate Noam Bramson's campaign accusations that Murphy was censoring the Somers resident's free speech rights.
"Somers should allow Mr. Gibson to oppose gun safety laws, just as we expect we’ll be allowed to publicly support them," Bramson spokesman Barry Caro said in a statement.
Murphy told Patch the removal of the sign was not an issue of free speech or gun rights, but rather an issue of town zoning. She said the sign had been placed on town-owned property and a local town code prohibits signs in the town's right of way – or 15 feet of either side of the road.
"Mr. Bramson must be really desperate in his bid to unseat County Executive Rob Astorino if he needs to attack the Supervisor of a small town running in a down ticket race," Murphy said in a statement. "He should stick to the issues that concern the County Executive."
Murphy is running for the position of Westchester County Clerk on the Republican and Conservative Party lines.
Chief Driscoll said Murphy does not direct the day-to-day operations of the Somers Police Department and Bramson, who is mayor of New Rochelle, should know that.
"I’d appreciate it if he’d leave the Somers Police out of politics," Chief Driscoll said. "Mayor Bramson’s attempt to hijack the issue is politics at its worst."