Buckley was a member of the U.S. Army's elite 3rd Ranger Battalion and saw his first combat 40 days after the 9-11 attacks. He served from August 2000 through December 2005 and earned combat citations and a Purple Heart in deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. There he suffered Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). Upon his honorable discharge, the VA concluded John was 100% service-connected disabled.
"In 2009, my son became a victim of Kentucky justice," said attorney John Calvin Buckley III, the prisoner's Colorado Springs-based father. Here are the incidents that led to Ranger Buckley's incarceration.
Driving slowly with his girlfriend and infant daughter through a parking lot on a rainy day, John stopped short of hitting a man who suddenly stepped out from between two cars. The man cursed, shouted, and charged John's car, banging his hood and moving menacingly to the driver's window. John's training kicked into action. Thinking his family was at risk from carjacking, he drew his legal firearm and ordered the man to lace his fingers behind his head and go to his knees. At the same time, he told his girlfriend to dial 911. It was only after being peaceably subdued that the man identified himself as Lexington (KY) Police Detective Steven Cobb.
John was brought before a Grand Jury for numerous felony charges. The Grand Jury decided, after less than five minutes of deliberation, to drop all charges. Within an hour of the result, John's lawyer was called by a police contact in the area and told, "No one pulls a gun on a cop in Lexington and gets away with it." How that incident became the start of John's road to prison is described at the family's website, JusticeForJohnBuckley.com.
"We explain this horror story further at the website and show you how you can contact Kentucky State officials," his father said. "We have gone to incredible lengths, in vain, to try to get prison officials to back off their inhumane behavior, and to get the State of Kentucky to re-open his case. There is an American hero, my son, being treated horribly in prison, where he'll rot for almost four decades unless the public puts pressure on decision-makers in Kentucky."
Media Contact: Erik Bernstein, (719) 315-4923, firstname.lastname@example.org
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