Martin County, KY — A Kentucky man learned the hard way this week that speaking your mind to those in a position of power can and will get you assaulted by police. A Martin County resident wanted to know why he was paying for water and not getting it, so a police officer grabbed him by the throat to keep him in his place.
The residents of Martin County held a public meeting this week to address the fact that they are paying for water and it’s not going into their homes. Although tempers were high, no one got violent and people only seemed to want answers as to when the Martin County Water District would turn the water back on.
According to LEX18, the water company explained what they were doing to attempt to remedy the outages which started during cold temperatures last week. They were faced with two options, they said. The first would be cutting off water to the entire county while they attempted to fill the tank reservoir. The other would be to strategically cut water to different areas of the county. Unfortunately, even after doing the latter, the company admitted that they were still having difficulty.
The water company is blaming the fact that they can’t supply Martin County residents with the water they pay for on faulty meters and higher usage. Naturally, residents were upset that the company is failing at getting them water and wanted their voices to be heard.
During the meeting, however, instead of telling the residents that the problem would be solved, the company released a statement saying they were seeking an increase in rates to supply them with water.
Although the water company is attempting to blame the shortage on the weather, resident Gary Hunt explained to WSAZ that he has outages year round.
“You turn the water on, right here is what you get. No water,” he demonstrated from the local news.
“Summertime, wintertime, fall,” Hunt said of when the shortages happen.
During Wednesday night’s meeting, Hunt had enough and decided to speak his mind. He tried to explain to officials that he was willing to pay the company extra just to come out to his home and fill up his tank, but they declined, leaving him waterless.
As he addressed the water company, Hunt used a swear word which prompted the officer in the building to grab him by the neck and begin choking him. The use of force by the cop was entirely uncalled for and would be considered assault had it been done by someone who wasn’t wearing a badge.
Even if Hunt was out of line for swearing during the meeting, the officer had no right to grab him by the neck and choke him out. Still, however, Hunt was issued a citation for “menacing.”
Hunt told WSAZ that the citation was worth it because he is fighting to get his water back on as his family is unable to even take showers.
“When you are a grown man, you do grown-up things,” he said. “You pay for what you do.”
Since the meeting, Martin County has declared a state of emergency because of the lack of water and are now seeking federal funding.
“In the big picture, if the state declares an emergency for our area and then if the federal does, we could possibly get some federal money,” Martin County Judge-Executive Kelley Callaham said.
Below is an example of what can happen when you try to tell the government you simply want what you are already paying for.
Sadly, this is the second time this week we’ve seen citizens assaulted by police for attempting to stand up for what’s right during town hall meetings.