He landed back in South Florida, joined the North Miami Beach Police Department in 1998, and sank into what he calls the lifestyle of "sheep." He remembers the exact moment he began to drift from the herd. It was more than a decade ago, and Harrell was prowling a Broward beach wearing nothing but a Speedo and a nipple ring. "I bumped into a commander, and he was just like, 'Uhhhh, um, OK...' That was when I knew I was different."

But he didn't yet know just how different. That realization came last year, eight years after he and his wife divorced and she moved with their boys to New York. As Harrell recalls, his PlayStation had broken, so he was stuck clicking through the stations. A puzzling show called Ancient Aliens came on. It transfixed him. "I thought, If they were trying to cover something up about life outside our planet, what else would they be covering up? Then I started doing research and learning more of what they were really doing."

They were apparently doing a lot. In the span of several days, Harrell's social media identity took a wild turn. Conspiracy theories supplanted romantic squabbles with his girlfriend, whom he's dated for years and refers to as "baby mama." A Guy Fawkes mask soon infiltrated even the most idyllic of photographs showing the child he's had with "baby mama." And then there were streams of articles that had been spawned in the darkest fringes of the internet.

Copping an attitude.
Copping an attitude.

He dislodged a story claiming that the U.S. staged 9/11, another that the "powers that be are suppressing information," and one more alleging the EPA has been testing "lethal pollutants on humans." Last January 3, he posted a picture of himself in his police uniform clutching his Guy Fawkes mask. "Expect Us!!" he wrote as a caption and called himself an "Oath Keeper" — one of a cadre of law enforcement types who fear that the government may soon outlaw guns. They contend their vow to "defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic" trumps allegiance to any democratically elected government.

After he began posting his new political views on Facebook, rumors shot through the local police community. "Everyone was saying, 'Eric's gone 43,'" recalls Miami-Dade officer Ciprian Puscas, referring to the police code for the Baker Act. "People had thought he'd gone crazy." Puscas, however, was intrigued. He hadn't yet met Harrell but arranged a meeting at an IHOP on NE 163rd Street. "That was when I started to awaken too," Puscas says. "We talked about 9/11, Benghazi, and the 'fast and furious' scandals... It's easy to dismiss someone as crazy, then move on to talk about the football game."

In the months before he donned his cape and mask for his November protest, Harrell felt the same friction at his own department. "Everyone just talks about sports, and no one's awake to what's happening," he confides. "One time I confronted a captain and said, 'If the government tries to take our guns and trample the Constitution, are we going to carry out that order?' And he said, 'Uhhh, I'll have to ask my supervisor.' And I was just shocked. Everyone else was saying, 'Man, when did you become so weird? We want the old Eric back.' And I had to tell them, 'The old Eric's gone. I've evolved.'"

On November 22 — the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination — Harrell made his final adaptation, refusing to remove his mask or identify himself to police, who arrested him. His department immediately placed him on administrative leave. "Though you have historically had a good employment record, over the recent past you have demonstrated a pattern of behavior which has generated significant concern," Chief of Police J. Scott Dennis wrote Harrell in a letter dated December 6, demanding he take a psychological evaluation.

Days later, however, charges against Harrell were dropped, and Broward prosecutor Sarahnell Murphy wrote in her closeout memo that the 1951 Florida mask law was "vague, ambiguous, and overbroad." Murphy said Harrell, even though he's a cop, has a "lawful right" to "protest in a non-threatening manner" in the "public forum." The law, she wrote, hadn't obligated Harrell to identify himself or to remove his mask.

The North Miami Beach Police Department tells New Times that the internal investigation is still open but that the agency dismissed the pending psychological evaluation and put him back on duty.

One of Harrell's first days back on the job will be the graveyard shift on New Year's Eve — just in time, he says, for all the crazies to be out.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
37 comments
tuckraft
tuckraft

My hero , you awoke from your American Dream.


edwardhansen30067
edwardhansen30067

this " officer" should have been thrown in the state hospital long ago. I had the misfortune of running into him last year when My friends car that I was riding in broke down . I nstead of aiding Us He babbled on for more than half an hour about the government programs to wipe Us out of excistanse. This officer should if he wishes to continue being an officer should have to be baker acted like any other citizen who might be a threat to public safety., And then if proven sane released after the 72 hour period , if not then removed from the force and treated until deemed sane.

JamieJ1
JamieJ1

...it's going to take a lot more than masks to legitimately fight in and win this war against the evil empire.

ReThink911
ReThink911

Terrence McCoy is ALL STYLE and NO SUBSTANCE.  Perhaps he should do a little more investigating.  When thousands of Architects and Engineers are putting their careers on the line to try and point out to us that the official story of 9/11 -- the sacred mythology that has taken us down such a dark alley -- CANNOT be true, perhaps we should listen to them, and brave Americans like Ericson Harrell.

 http://rethink911.org/

http://www.ae911truth.org/

http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modules/sections/index.php?op=viewarticle&artid=167


ericccclark
ericccclark

Clearly he needs psychological help. There are enough loonies on the streets, we don't need them in law enforcement.

Jasmin M Augustin
Jasmin M Augustin

we need more like him! it's easy to call him "crazy" and "nuts" because he's actually speaking the truth and everyone wants to be in denial about what's going on in this world. look up - the chem trails are everywhere!

kidblast3
kidblast3

I think it perfectly reasonable to suspect that Harrell is a Conspiracy Theorist, that he does have mental issues, that he is a clear and present danger to others in his job as a police officer, ad naueum.  I think while Harrell may have been arrested for concealing his identity with a mask -  one would say 'why didn't he argue against the arrest being that the law under which he was arrested is only to be used when a police officer suspects that 'a crime has occurred or will occur'? - I think the primary reason is that he refused to identify himself.  Anyone in the U.S. who is approached by a police officer asking for identification, verbal or otherwise, must identify him/herself.  I think Harrell is already at the point where sane folks can say, 'this guy is a real piece of work'.

ace.greene
ace.greene

I was a Facebook friend with Ericson. I'm also a Marine and from Miami, and we shared some friends. But he started getting really crazy with his posts and I got tired of arguing with him about UFOs and how CIA operations are run overseas. As the son of a retired CIA man, I found many of his rants laughable and sad.

Tommy2
Tommy2

Obviously the guy is having some sort of brain issue that is causing delusional thinking / mild schizophrenia (paranoia). Most people are able to connect A to B to C and retain critical thinking skills along the way. But this guy is going from A to C and filling in B with paranoid ideas that he believes are real. I'm sure the revelation that people are sheeples a lot of the time adds to his thinking and I acknowledge that as so many people are clueless and allow themselves to be controlled in ignorance. But that doesn't make his theories real. He should not be allowed to be around guns given his statements about being attacked or about to be attacked. This is a mental health issue and I wish him well even if the prognosis is not good as it is a progressive disorder.


The really sad thing is how the author tries to link Tea Party ideas to crazy....now that is sheeple brainwashing for real (not delusional).

Patti Cole
Patti Cole

Ericson Harrell is not a Conspiracy theorist. If people would wake up and do the research, it's all there.

Fer De La Mancha
Fer De La Mancha

Everyone thought the world was flat at one point. Who was the crazy one then? The sheep who followed convention or the ones who thought outside the box? It's real easy to call someone a nut and not think about the deeper issue. Ignorance is bliss for most of us, but others seek to push the envelop. I hope the cop is wrong, but if he is right, I'm glad there's someone out there looking out for my Constitutional rights.

Mark Eckert
Mark Eckert

The article would leave a layperson to not be sure if wearing a mask was legal or not. It is absolutely LEGAL to wear a mask in Florida while doing almost anything! The only time it is illegal to wear a mask is if you are committing a crime. The law that most are referring to is FS 876.12-15. But it seems what most research journalist and police officers fail to read is the very next section 876.155, which basically says The four statutes above only APPLY if you are committing a crime. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H6QoA4nfqw

freedommaverick0
freedommaverick0

The article would leave a layperson to not be sure if wearing a mask was legal or not.  It is absolutely LEGAL to wear a mask in Florida while doing almost anything!  The only time it is illegal to wear a mask is if you are committing a crime.  The law that most are referring to is FS 876.12-15.  But it seems what most research journalist and police officers fail to read is the very next section 876.155, which basically says The four statutes above only APPLY if you are committing a crime.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H6QoA4nfqw


Lon Allen
Lon Allen

This cop probably knows our rights better than the rest. We need more like him!

Victor Gerard-Raphel
Victor Gerard-Raphel

What do you expect? 25 years of being a subordinate, never allowed to express himself. Always following orders like a good little minion. Sooner or later, he was bound to break.

newshawk
newshawk

I'm sure there are a lot of cops who believe the same shit Ericson does. The difference is they're smart enough to keep those thoughts private. 

Juan R. Pollo
Juan R. Pollo

Then again, he might be. Do we really need openly crazy cops out there?

clayton44
clayton44

I've never understood how Guy Fawkes has become the hero the anti-government movement.  The guy wanted to blow up the closest thing to democracy in 16th/17th century Europe--the English Parliment--not to destroy government but to ease the way for the takeover of England by the Roman Catholic Church, the very epitome of a hierchichal dictatorship. 

commenter8
commenter8 topcommenter

Repeal that law. Get it off the books.

MatthewEcho
MatthewEcho

@edwardhansen30067Hopefully you will once wake up, brother. The proof is right in front of you.. Eyes in the sky on the one dollar bill.

caroljstull
caroljstull

@ReThink911 You are right on. just google "operation northwoods" to

see how long false flags have been going on. I rather like the idea of     being labelled a"truther".

davemanger1
davemanger1

@Tommy2 This guy is who I would rather have around in a crisis. Get a clue. We are in a crisis mode now. why does he have to be delusional to take stock in the many lies.Do some constructive reading and you may feel different. Thank god one good cop is still on the payroll.

davemanger1
davemanger1

He didn't break. Quite the opposite. I wish he would run for president!

davemanger1
davemanger1

@newshawk Everyone turning the proverbial other cheek and not speaking up does not make them smarter. Nor does it show signs of intelligence. It means they are punks and scared to step up for what they truly believe.

kidblast3
kidblast3

@cherokeefupa@kidblast3 I stand corrected as to what I mistakenly said was permissible for cops to do, namely, walk up to anyone and ask for I.D.  Thanks for the reminder ...

 
Miami Concert Tickets
Loading...