Assembly of Delegates Meeting Takes Ugly Turn

The monthly meeting of the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates turned ugly and chaotic Wednesday over a proposal that would allow the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office to take part in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 287(g) program.

If the Advisory Board of that program accepts the sheriff’s office application it would mean the sheriff’s office would have access to ICE computers to determine whether criminals at the correctional facility are in the country illegally and should be detained for possible deportation.

More than two dozen people from the Cape Coalition for Safe Communities attended the meeting to back a resolution proposed by Provincetown delegate Brian O’Malley in opposition of the sheriff’s office participation in the ICE program.

Those backers became extremely vocal, to the point where Barnstable County Commission Chairman Leo Cakounes became concerned.

"I'm a 250 pound farmer guy who can care for himself, believe me," said Cakounes, "But let me tell you something, I was thinking twice when I saw that crowd in that room; over 50 people, angrily screaming things and just not behaving the way people should in a public meeting."

At one point, Assembly of Delegates Speaker, Suzanne McAuliffe from Yarmouth banged her gavel and declared the meeting adjourned and walked out of the hearing room. She would return a few minutes later and re-adjourn the meeting.

A motion was made to table the discussion and possible vote on the O’Malley resolution until the January 3rd meeting.

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