On August 28, 2015, Deputy Darren H. Goforth of Harris County Sheriff’s Office, was murdered in the line of duty. This brutal act took place in our own community of Cypress, Texas. Many people came to know Deputy Goforth during his time of service to our community, and his sacrifice deserved to be remembered. In memory of Deputy Goforth’s sacrifice, as well as the sacrifice of every peace officer who has died in the line of duty in the United States, an American flag was erected in honor of the blood shed by our heroes at the entrance to our Switchback community.
Originally, the Switchback flagpole was part of a much larger memorial design which was dedicated in September of 2015. It was determined by the board that Mr. Robert Partin would assume responsibility (on a voluntary basis) of maintaining the flagpoles with minor costs incurred by the HOA. While there was some dissent from some of the criminal element who lived within Stone Gate, the American flag was still raised to honor all first responders. The larger planned memorial was erected and completed in July of 2016 at its new location, just west of the intersection of Red Rugosa and Tuckerton. This larger memorial was dedicated to all fallen law enforcement and still stands today. The black memorial flagpole in Switchback remained and was dedicated specifically to Deputy Darren Goforth for his service and sacrifice.
This flagpole memorial was loved by the community and its symbolism was known further than people realized. Police organizations across the nation were so touched by this memorial that it even appeared in a memorial tribute video which has been widely shared across numerous police departments across the country. It was widely known that the community of Cypress would never forget the sacrifices made by Darren Goforth and by police officers everywhere. However, after standing proudly and honoring American heroes for over 6 years, anti-American wokeists reared their ugly heads.
Without any public notice and without even consulting the community, the Stone Gate HOA showed their true colors – and these colors stand against the red, white, and blue. Yes, the Stars and Stripes that countless millions have died for is an eye-sore for the America-hating HOA of Stone Gate. The American flag was torn down and the flagpole unceremoniously uprooted so there would never be a sign it was even there. Just like that, the sacrifice of our heroes was kicked to the side like dirt in the street.
To better understand the chain of events that led to this, here they are in chronological order:
Early September 2022: Robert Partin was notified by PMG (Principal Management Group), (a division of Associa) that if he did not stop handling the flags, he was going to be presented with a cease-and-desist order legally. Up to this point in time, neither flagpole was vandalized – not once.
October 9, 2022: Per PMG, the flagpole at Switchback was vandalized at approximately 3:30AM with video evidence coming from gate cameras – however, the camera which is outside the gate is approximately 220 feet from the flagpole. After contacting the vendor who installed the cameras, it was discovered that these cameras have a maximum visual line of sight at approximately 50-75 feet at best.
Late October 2022: The removal of the flagpole was discussed at the board meeting. There was no mention of repairs vs removal. The current HOA Board members at the time this decision was made was:
- Stephanie Wade (Stephanie.email@example.com)
- Wendy Ray (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Tu Anh Connelly (email@example.com)
They voted to remove the Goforth dedicated flagpole.
Present board members Barry Mayers (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Lawrence Connelly (Lawrence.email@example.com) abstained from voting.
Robert Partin inquired what they were doing to fix the issue, but the HOA tore out the dedicated American flagpole within a week of Veterans Day 2022. It was reported to Mr. Partin by Krystal Vigil (firstname.lastname@example.org) with PMG after the pole was torn down that it cost more to repair the flag than to tear it down.
Mid November 2022: Partin then requested the bids to see the cost and he contacted Elite flag poles, who stated that the cost to bring a cherry picker and replace the rope was less than $700.00. Multiple homeowners stated that they would have been more than happy to contribute to this cost to save the flagpole.
The HOA attempted to claim that the reason the flagpole was torn down because it was “too expensive to repair” after it was vandalized. However, evidence suggests that there was no research done to find the cost of repairing the flagpole.
Fortunately, Mr. Partin, the volunteer who maintained the flagpole memorials for the duration of their existence, did reach out to the company (Elite Flagpoles) that had installed the poles. Mr. Partin disproved the absurd claim by the HOA and found that the estimated cost at repairing the flagpole was $668.00. It was later discovered that the HOA paid significantly higher to remove the flagpole.
It is truly disheartening to see the flag being disrespected in such a manner. The actions of the Stone Gate HOA not only disregard the sacrifices made by our heroes but also disrespect the values and principles that the flag represents. This is a time where we should come together to show support for our law enforcement and honor their sacrifices, not tear down symbols that represent their sacrifice. We must remember that the flag is a symbol of the unity and resilience of the American people, and it should be treated with the utmost respect. We should not let the bullying tactics by a few un-American criminal sympathizers diminish the sacrifices of those who have given their lives to protect our community and country. We must continue to honor their memory and never forget their sacrifice.