January 27, 2023

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s statewide law enforcement agency is investigating after two police officers escorted one of the state’s top principals to a hospital for a mental health evaluation based on a falsified court order, officials said.

Mary Fulp, principal of Colony High School in Palmer, north of Anchorage, live-streamed the Jan. 18 encounter with Alaska State Troopers on Facebook.

“I’m being taken to the hospital for claiming that Jesus is King and that I stand for Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement,” she said. “So I want this to be in the news and go viral because I’m the 2022 Alaskan Principal of the Year who loves Jesus with all my heart.”

The incident began earlier in the day when someone asked police officers to do a social check on Fulp because she wouldn’t answer her door and he was worried about her mental health.

“The Soldiers determined that the adult female had no evidence of severe disability from a mental health issue and was not likely to cause serious harm to herself or others and therefore did not qualify for emergency detention,” said Soldiers’ spokesman Austin McDaniel. into a statement.

Nearly five hours later, someone else called 911 and said they had a signed warrant from a judge to involuntarily take Fulp to the nearest mental health screening facility. Troopers did not identify Fulp by name in the release.

Two other police officers verified the alleged order and believed it to be authentic. They arrived at Fulp’s home, and the case’s lead officer again determined that she posed no threat to herself or others, McDaniel said.

The soldiers escorted Fulp to a nearby hospital but did not conduct emergency detention as permitted under state law, he said.

Two days later, the state Department of Public Safety became aware that the document may not have been a court order, as the person who called 911 claimed. The soldiers fall under the detachment.

McDaniel said the state court system denied the soldiers’ request for copies of the court order to determine if it was authentic.

“If there is an order, the order, the petition, and a request for transportation will be forwarded by the court directly to the soldiers,” Rebecca Koford, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Court System, told The Associated Press in an email on Wednesday. “If there is no order or the order denies the motion, the court would normally deny such a motion.”

The soldiers also spoke to the person who claimed to have had a signed warrant of engagement, but that person declined to provide copies.

“The court has not issued an order to take Ms. Fulp into custody or detain her or take her to hospital for any reason,” Koford said. “The actions of law enforcement authorities in this case were not taken or carried out pursuant to or as a result of a court order.”

James Cockrell, the state’s commissioner of public safety, has ordered an internal review of soldiers’ policies and procedures to ensure incidents like this don’t happen again.

“Based on the limited information we were able to learn from the Alaska Court System about this incident, it appears we made a mistake in transporting the adult female for an inquest,” Cockrell said in the statement. “Our staff should have taken additional steps to verify the information provided by the complainant and the validity of the court order.”

“We take full responsibility,” he said. “This type of situation is unacceptable and you have my commitment that we will do better.”

McDaniel would not say if the person who offered the bogus court order is under investigation. He said the agency did not confirm an open and active investigation and that all criminal complaints were being processed by the attorney general’s office.

Fulp, who did not return messages to the AP, said in another Facebook Live video that “some of the things that have happened over the past few days have been absolutely a violation of my rights.”

“I will seek legal advice about things and the way they have unfolded because it is important that we not only arm ourselves with the Word of God as best we can but also respond to injustices,” says she said.

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