Chief Stan Standridge’s Chappiquiddick

The Chappiquiddick Incident was a single car crash that occurred on Chappiquiddick Island in Massachusetts some time around midnight between Friday July 18, and Saturday July 19, 1969. The incident caused by Senator Edward Kennedy resulted in his conviction for leaving the scene with bodily injury. This incident forever doomed his quest for President of the United States.

This incident juxtaposed with the retention of Sergeant Ryan Hartman in the San Marcos Police Department, regrettably for me, compromises support I have for Chief Standridge in his quest to lead our department. Chief Standridge should review the policy of the Georgia Houston County Sheriffs Department:

“… An Officer at all times must, on and off duty, conduct him/herself in a manner which does not bring discredit to the department or county …. Conduct unbecoming an Officer shall include that conduct (2) Which has a tendency to destroy public respect for employees and confidence in the department. …”

Two occurrences for me, the Kyle Rittenhouse and Sergeant Ryan Hartman incidents add credence to my point. These two occurrences do not pass the Elie Mystal (a lawyer and frequent contributor to MSNBC) and James Bryant, Jr.’s reality test. 

Mr. Mystal stated (paraphrasing), “If I would have taken my AR-15 and my (sic) ‘Black Ass’ to protect businesses and protect myself, where would I be?” 

If, I, as a Correction Officer/Registered Nurse would have ran through two stop signs 16 mph over the speed limit, talking on my cell phone, with an opened can of beer in my console 75% empty, and refused field sobriety tests do you believe for one Planck Time Unit that I would still have a job and be vigorously defended by my Chief, who allegedly said “there was only one stop sign” and “cell phone records do not substantiate use of his cell phone at that time.”

The incident that took Jennifer Miller’s life, severely injured Pamela Watts, and latter precipitated profound egregious ramifications of the criminal justice system that unrelentingly sickens me greatly.

During my time in law enforcement, two of my long term superiors were “instantaneously” fired by my Sheriff. The Lieutenant was fired because his wife called the department thinking that he was on the job; however, he was with his mistress. The Sergeant was fired because he spoke condescendingly to Family members who presented query to him on the location of their loved one.

Even I was suspended for “one day with pay because no one likes you.”

I write this article because of the profound respect I have for law enforcement personnel. As a member of law enforcement during those years, I considered it an honor and privilege solidified by remembrances of my prior interactions with law enforcement, unlike the new mayor of New York City who was beaten by police officers in his youth. As a former NYC Police Captain and now NYC mayor he revisited that precinct station. On the DPS Memorial Wall, in Austin, I remember two officers very vividly.

Upon attempting for forty-five minutes to enter the Highway 95 exit from Interstate 35, which was under heavy construction in 1972, I was unable to do so. I became frustrated and “lit my afterburner” on my Chevy to continue on to Austin. Patrolman Billy Dan Howry stopped me for doing 97mph in a 35mph construction zone. Ladies and gentlemen, taking into consideration what my fine would be in 2022 – well go figure. He gave me a ticket for being eleven miles over the speed limit. I never forgot Patrolman Howry. A significant portion of my life I have always lived in his honor “paying it forward.”

Patrolman Billy Dan Howry was killed by a drunk driver two weeks after our encounter.

Chief Standridge’s endeavor to learn “ANYTHING” from the Austin Police Department precipitates profound unspeakable insufferable anguish in my psyche. Austin Police Officers kill juveniles running down city streets unarmed and stark naked. Members of cadet classes resign because the curricula is “too violent.” They take elementary school teachers and toss them around throwing them to pavement commenting Black People have “violent tendencies” just to name a few.

Respectfully submitted,
James Bryant, Jr.

Editor’s note: Sergeant Ryan Hartman was terminated from the San Marcos Police Department last week for “sustained misconduct related to dereliction of duty and insubordination,” according to San Marcos City Manager Bert Lumbreras.

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