84-year-old former cop ‘red flagged’ and guns seized after waitress overheard comment about police

Image: A photo from the petition to reinstate Stephen Nichols as a crossing guard.

An 84-year old school crossing guard was “red flagged” and his guns seized after he criticized the school’s resource officer for leaving his security post to get coffee.

Stephen Nichols was also fired from his job at the Tisbury School in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and his gun license revoked.

Nichols was targeted after a waitress overheard his conversation with a friend at a local restaurant. He criticized the school’s resource officer for walking off campus to get coffee, noting “someone could shoot up the school.”

“When I was in the United States Army, and it wasn’t just me, it’s anybody who’s in the United States service, if you are on guard duty for eight hours, you didn’t leave that position,” Nichols told the Martha’s Vineyard Times. “And I’m just so accustomed to that, that when I see someone who’s supposed to be protecting kids…leave the school unguarded — if you’re on guard duty, you stay there.”

That was all police needed to raid Nichols’ home, seize his guns, terminate his gun rights and have him fired from his job.

He is not only a Korean War veteran but spent six decades as a police officer in the very police department that raided him. He had held a gun license since 1958.

He never made a threat to the school or anyone, and has no criminal record. While no charges were filed against him the local police chief told Nichols his comments were a felony crime.

“Nichols lost his wife two years ago and values his crossing guard work as a connection to the outside world. ‘I just need something to do to get out of the house and I love the kids,’ he said,” the Times reports.

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