Pettis County Sheriff Kevin C. Bond personally responded to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request less than 12 hours after we sent it. His promptness is impressive as well as the fact that he responded personally. Usually sheriff's departments have a staff member that responds to such things. We have never gotten a response like this in less than 24 hours before and we have never gotten one from an actual sheriff before. That might just show we are on the right track when guessing at how small his department it. Unfortunately, it might also give merit to his claim that his deputies stopped wearing body cameras due to technical difficulties and lack of funding, but not much merit since such cameras are so easy to use a cop can do it.
Our FOIA request read as follows:
"I request a copy of your current staff roster and hiring dates for all employees under the Freedom of Information Act. I also request the staff schedule for all shifts for the date of June 13, 2020."
The goal of this request was to acquire the names and hiring dates of all deputies, plus which ones were on duty the night one of them shot 25 year old Hannah Fizer. Sheriff Bond has yet to release the name of the deputy even though the Missouri Highway Patrol investigation into the incident found no gun in Hannah's car. Bond's deputy claimed that he fired in self defense because she had a gun, threatened to shoot him, and he thought she was trying to shoot him. There is no footage of the incident because Sheriff Bond says that his department stopped wearing body cameras three years ago due to technical difficulties and lack of funding. They also do not have dash board cameras in their cars.
Sheriff Bond has stated publicly that the deputy that shot Hannah has been with the department since 2007. His response to our FOIA was as follows:
Thank you for your inquiry. I am the custodian of records for the Pettis County Sheriffs Office.
Under 610.100.3RSMO, portions of a record or document of a law enforcement officer or agency that contains information reasonably likely to pose a clear and present danger to the safety of a person shall be closed. As a result, I cannot comply with your request at this time.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Kevin C. Bond, Sheriff
Pettis County, Missouri
---End of Message---
The problem with his response is that FOIA is a federal law that cannot be circumvented by citing a state law because the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution prohibits it. Article VI paragraph 2 of the Constitution reads as follows:
"This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding."
We will be submitting an objection to Sheriff Bond informing him of the Supremacy Clause. We will also include an officer to remove the results of our public records research into him personally if he does the right thing and tells us who shot Hannah Fizer.
Public records contain the following information about Sheriff Bond:
KEVIN CHARLES BOND
4130 APPLE RIDGE RD
SEDALIA, MO 65301
2006 - Now
The following telephone numbers are listed in public records as being linked to Sheriff Bond in some way. We are not sure which if any are current:
We are posting this information with the hope of encouraging peaceful demonstrators to picket his home like demonstrators have peacefully picketed homes of other government officials in recent weeks. We ask that no one do anything that would damage property or endanger anyone's safety when protesting.
We have sent the following response appealing to Sheriff Bond to do the right thing:
Nothing in the Missouri statutes gives you the right to refuse a records request filed under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). If you comply with the request or release the name of the deputy that shot Hannah Fizer, I will remove you home address from the following URL https://copblaster.com/blast/25797/pettis-county-sheriff-kevin-c-bond-refuses-to-comply-with-. I suggest you comply promptly before too many search engines and other people find this content.
The Supremacy Clause of the constitution clearly prohibits states from enacting laws that overrule federal laws, so you cant legally rely on any Missouri statute to justify non-compliance with federal law. I am willing to drop my FOIA request if you just tell the public who shot Hannah Fizer?
They have a right to know and actions such as yours only embolden bad cops to do bad things knowing that you probably have their backs. Im sure it hurts your little department to lose just a single deputy to a misconduct suspension, firing, or prosecution, but anyone that shoots any unarmed person they think has a gun without any verification is not qualified to work in law enforcement.
Do right by the public and I will do right by you. You have my word.
P.O. Box 86653
Portland, Oregon 97286
UPDATE: We posted a question on an online forum frequented by people in the Sedalia area. Here are some of the responses we received:
"Sedalia is my hometown, although I don't live there anymore thank god. I've been doing some local sleuthing of my own. Town gossip is that there was an officer coming into Hannah's work, harassing and bothering her. Hannah was shot right outside of her work. There's some names floating around but again, its all town gossip so take it with a grain of salt."
"The more I hear the worse it sounds. For me it has gone from probable cause, to no probable cause and leave/firing, to manslaughter, and now if these harrassment stories are true possibly murder."
"She was a friend of mine. I would talk to her at the gas station after a motorcycle ride when I needed a drink. Its sad such a thing happened."
UPDATE: We sent Sheriff Bond another email today to make sure he knows that we are not encouraging anyone to do anything to him that is violent. We would fully support crowds chanting outside his house like we do crowds chanting outside the homes of other politicians in other areas. The address of a sheriff is really more like the address of a president, governor, or mayor than it is that of a private citizen or even a sheriff's deputy. That is because county sheriffs are elected officials. They take it upon themselves to be the face of the department and their home addresses are locations of public interest. In our area, protesters like to go the mayor's house at midnight and tell him to "wake up." That is the kind of thing we would like to see in this case if Sheriff Bond continues to protect the name of this deputy. We would like to see a crowd of very non-violent and very loud people outside of his home demanding justice. We do not want anyone in any such crowd harming anyone or anything. That means we do not support physically harming anyone or harming property. That includes throwing anything at or on his property even if that thing is a harmless object incapable of doing any real damage. That means if you have a fountain drink do not throw it at his house and if you are smoking a cigarette do not throw the butt on his lawn. Do not do it, but if you see him by all means tell him what you think of his job performance at the moment.
UPDATE: Threat received from Sheriff Bond. We sent another email to Sheriff Bond to clarify things and make it clear that we have no intention of doing anything that would cause him physical harm or damage to his property. That email read as follows:
I have been informed that you have written a letter to the media accusing me of extortionate threats. That allegation is highly inappropriate. I have not and never will threaten you physically. I do encourage protesters to picket you anywhere you might be because I want you to stop protecting a murderer. I think justice is not served by your silence. I have also made public statements specifically saying that I don't want anyone to use violence against you.
I am writing this letter not just to clarify my previous one, but to also say that people have been guessing names such as Jimmy Bond, but others including a member of the Fizer family have said to me that that is not accurate. Could you confirm or deny that allegation?
Please reconsider your silence if that allegation is false. I have not heard other names, but in a small town like yours I think surely people are naming other names. You could save everyone that works for you a lot of scrutiny if you just said which one killed her.
Finally, from the looks of it most of your constituents are against you on this one. You are not beyond being able earn my endorsement in this matter. I am most known for my criticism, but I am also known for my praise when people earn it. If you start doing the right thing this could be a very positive thing for you.
P.S. People in my area like to go to the mayors house in the middle of the night chanting wake up Wheeler. I of course have been fully encouraging that.
Sheriff Bond's response was as follows:
Cyrus Sullivan (or whoever you really are)
I have responded to your request as required by law.
Your dangerous discourse does nothing more than waste my very busy time of day. Be glad that I responded to this last message because the next thing you will hear from me if you continue will be criminal charges.
Sheriff Kevin C. Bond
Pettis County, Missouri
UPDATE: Regina Fizer wrote an excellent open letter to Sheriff Bond on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/287616399289996/permalink/289574699094166/ that letter reads as follows:
An Open Letter to Kevin:
The citizens of Pettis County need your help. They need you to do your job. The community is dealing with a tragedy. Your thoughts and prayers should not be followed by a sentence starting with but. But what Kevin? Is the "onslaught of shock" the "commercial media coverage" the "social media outcry" or "raw emotion" any more dangerous than a routine traffic stop by a Pettis County Sheriff Deputy?
You want us to listen to you talk about the criminal element of the community but dismiss the potential criminal elements in your own office. Are you asking for sympathy from a community you have singled out and targeted, stalked, threatened and assaulted for a living. Are we supposed to be sympathetic to your deputy being accused of a crime he did not do. Your department has no problem releasing names and addresses of alleged criminals to local radio and newspaper. Now one of your own is subject to public scrutiny as a public employee and you need our help. Help doing what Kevin? You need help circulating the lies about Hannah? Then why mention the rumors? The line between instigator and investigator is a thin blue one Kevin. Have you talked to these "instigators"? Is instigator synonymous with protestor? Can you see the people forced to peacefully protest are taking advantage of a situation you created Kevin. These same protesters would have taken to the streets to get your body cams fixed too.
You sound offended there are calls for you to resign. Have you been watching the news lately Kevin? Kevin the year is 2020 and you used the term technical difficulties. There are no technical difficulties in 2020. You are the Sheriff and we have to listen to you complain about receiving an extortion email. EMAIL!? Get a MAC address! A google search will bring up your address but you getting extorted? Then what are cash bonds? How would a no knock warrant at your grandmother's house move you?
The Prosecutor is under pressure because we have to believe he is going to administer justice. He is an elected official and relies on votes. There is little to zero confidence this prosecutor will do anything but tow the good old boy line. Kevin when you start sharing the truth, we can stop acting out based on feelings.
Kevin where the armed civilian men protecting your downtown from the BLM movement careless? When these men found out the "threat" was at Thompson Hills how careless did they leave the downtown area? The question is are you willing to allow Pettis County to remain a relic to a less than American way of life? Could you be more clear on the Social Justice experiment you see for rural america. We do not want to be a part of an experiment, we just want whats right? For the past 15 years you have been the sheriff and reaped all the small town amenities of being the sheriff. It doesn't surprise any of us you champion the status quo.
What is the American way Kevin? Why should we have faith in it? What is it you want from us Kevin? What type of Social In-Justice do you fear taking over Pettis County? Discrimination? Unfair Labor Practices? How about Homophobia? As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of this County when did you decide having the cameras was not in the best interest of your community. We hear you sheriff. You will protect the property and collect the bail.
Truth is Kevin. You need us to think with emotion and not to think rationally. When we think rational, we have questions that you can not answer? For instance, technical difficulties? Your Deputies behavior was unreasonable. We need you to step up and support the community that has supported you Kevin the past 15 years. Hannah Fizer thought she lived in the land of the free and there was nothing brave about the actions of your deputy. Change is coming Kevin.
---END OF LETTER---
Again, that letter was posted on Facebook by Regina Fizer at https://www.facebook.com/groups/287616399289996/permalink/289574699094166/
UPDATE: Kevin Bond knew the victim. According to a background check on Hannah Fizer, she received a citation last fall for less than 10 grams of Marijuana or synthetic cannabis. The arresting agency is listed as "Kevin Bond":
Arresting Agency: KEVIN BOND
Case Number: 19PT-CR01444
Classification: MISDEMEANOR CLASS D
Crime County: PETTIS
Offense Code: 579.015
Offense Date: 09/27/2019
Offense Description: POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA/SYNTHETIC CANNABINOID OF 10 GRAMS OR LESS
Charges Filed Date: 10/10/2019
Court: 18TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT (COOPER & PETTIS COUNTIES)