They Were Accused of Sandpapering Raw a Child’s Skin but to Franklin Graham They Are ‘Great Patriots’

“Dusty stated that Steve then took him and began to sand the initials off his chest… Steve sanded on each side of his chest for at least five minutes… Steve used a very coarse sandpaper to sand off the initials.”

“Dusty told me that the process was very painful, but that he did not cry because he knew that Steve would continue the process for a longer period of time.”

Those quotes are from a 2004 police report republished by The Daily Beast in 2016.

"Steve" is Steve Hammond. "Dusty" is his then-16 year old nephew, who had committed the sin of scratching some initials into his skin. The report does not state what or why, but it does add: “Dusty told me that Steve told him that if the sanding did not remove the initials, that he would fillet the initials off Dusty’s chest.”

The process, which reportedly took place while Dusty's grandfather, Dwight Hammond, was present, drew blood, naturally, and ten days later the wounds were still raw.

Here's a photo of the child:

Steve Hammond and Dwight Hammond were pardoned by President Trump Tuesday morning after being convicted of setting fire to tens of thousands of acres of federal lands. One of those fires was set near where federal firefighters slept, threatening to trap them.

The Hammonds' actions inspired a 41-day siege of federal lands that resulted in the death of one of their own supporters.

Evangelical leader and top Trump supporter Franklin Graham took to Facebook Tuesday afternoon to praise the president "for carrying out justice" and "doing what was right."

He called Steve and Dwight Hammond "great patriots."

The Daily Beast report says "that child abuser might be a better description than hero for the two ranchers."

There's so much more.

“Dusty told me that in the past several months the discipline has gotten worse and worse," the police report continued. "Dusty told me that two to three months ago he and Steve had gotten into an argument about how Dusty was doing his chores. Dusty stated that Steve became very upset and charged him. Dusty stated that Steve hit him in the chest with a closed fist, knocking him to the ground. Dusty stated that Steve then took Dusty’s face and rubbed it into the gravel. Dusty stated that this action hurt and made him fearful of Steve.”

The report describes Steve as 35 years old, 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds. The report says that when Dusty was caught with alcohol, Steve had driven him at least 10 miles from the ranch “and made Dusty walk back.”

The report further states that when Dusty was caught with tobacco, “Steve made him eat two cans of Skoal Smokeless tobacco, then again drove him 10 miles from the ranch and made him walk back.”

The Hammonds, for reasons unknown, were not arrested for the abuse of a child.


An expert on anti-government extremists, J.J. McNab, today posted to Twitter background on the Hammonds. She includes these original charges, some of which were later dropped in a plea deal:

Noting the pardon, this is how she describes the Hammonds:

Franklin Graham, on the other hand, thinks they're "great patriots."

Image originally via United States District Court


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