Arkansas Town Enacts Martial Law, ID Checks Of Everyone In Public

The mayor explains that normal constitutional protections don’t apply, because, due to the high rate of property crime, anyone walking outdoors in his city is a criminal suspect. Via Russia Today:

In order to curb the rising crime rate in this town of barely 25,000, Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall endorsed a plan to send cops dressed in full-fledged SWAT gear and equipped with AR-15s into downtown Paragould starting in 2013. What’s more, Stovall says, is he intends to have the cops collecting identification from everyone and anyone.

“If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID,” the Daily Press reports him saying during last week’s meeting. “We will be asking for picture identification. We will be ascertaining where the subject lives and what they are doing in the area. We will be keeping a record of those we contact.”

“To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason,” he said. “Well, I’ve got statistical reasons that say I’ve got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you’re doing out. Then when I add that people are scared…then that gives us even more [reason] to ask why are you here and what are you doing in this area. “They may not be doing anything but walking their dog,” added Mayor Gaskill, “but they’re going to have to prove it.”

  • emperorreagan

    Well officer, I was out for my nightly arson stroll.

  • Zenc

    Hang on a second, JacobSloan.

    Just two stories down you posted an article with a headline, editors comments, and content which suggested a woman was an unjustifiably “paranoid survivalist” whose fear of a violent societal collapse was worthy of scorn.

    Now you’re posting a story demonstrating that indeed crime is so bad and the veneer of civilization is so thin in spots that “Martial Law” has had to be implemented.

    I’m not suggesting you have to be consistent, just more subtle.

  • echar


  • Andrew

    The terrorists hate us for our freedom.

    • Andy Beveridge

      spot the cointel shill

      • Andrew

        It’s called sarcasm.

        • Andy Beveridge

          my apologies Andrew – It was a good impersonation of someone who feels that way you must admit.

  • liquidself

    If this is true; then it s obvious who the criminal is. it s the mayor, out trolling for funds.

  • Guest

    So, can some Mod tell me, was my previous post to this article rejected by Disinfo or was it lost by Disqus?

  • I_abide

    Stupidity in action. Wonder how long till this idiot turns his town into a ghost town.

  • DeepCough

    Oh, goody, a sneak preview of the next decade.

  • E.R. Flynn

    Welcome to penal colony America: Where weak minded idiots, who lack the brains to see that the solution to crime is by bettering the economy, instead opt to march blindly towards fascism and piss all over the US Constitution.

  • Bruteloop

    Land of the free.

  • Wrenja Czaczkes
    • Jason Thompson

      That’s not a debunking, that’s a denial.

    • VaudeVillain

      “Snyder said along with SWAT gear, they informed residents that officers might also carry AR-15’s during their Street Crimes Unit patrols.

      “It’s gonna be isolated incidents where those even get deployed. But our goal was to say if you see them, if your kids see them, if they happen to be out or looking out the window, not to be scared. We’re the good guys.””


  • InfvoCuernos

    So the lesson is if you are doing some crime in this town, you need to take a little dog with you so you can say you were “walking your dog”. Seems reasonable.

  • VaudeVillain

    Wonder if the police records will indicate that every resident of the town is apparently latino or black? That would be an interesting thing for them to discover.

    • Bob Simonson

      White alone – 24,643 (94.4%)
      Hispanic – 743 (2.8%)
      Two or more races – 309 (1.2%)
      Black alone – 198 (0.8%)
      American Indian alone – 115 (0.4%)
      Asian alone – 89 (0.3%)
      Other race alone – 10 (0.04%)
      Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone – 6 (0.02%)

      Read more:

  • Alexandra Federov

    This hick mayor is a total idiot. Probable cause does not apply to general situations. I hope at least one of these 25,000 country bumpkins has alerted the ACLU and filed suit. This moron mayor is a power tripper who wants to be king of his little town in the sticks.

  • ehmkec

    I hope the town has plenty of resources to fight all the law suits residents will be filing. Not to mention the ACLU and the FBI. There are a few constitutional details they will have to answer to also. But how many SWAT can a town this size have? And, I wouldn’t want to be the jailer on a Saturday night. Russian newspapers always have the scoop. Don’t they????

  • S C

    This article is not correct. I live in Paragould, AR and they are not roaming the streets in SWAT gear, nor are they asking everyone on the streets for their ID. I believe Police Chief Stoval actually teaches a conceal and carry certificate class to private citizens. I am all for exposing government corruption and abuse of power but in this case it is just fear-mongering since none of the alleged plans for the town of Paragould, AR have taken place and since it is mid June I feel confident in saying that I do not forsee my home town becoming a police state any time this year.