A sheriff in a California county was caught on tape saying that the county would be better off financially if deputies would kill suspects in the streets than just “cripple” them.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood (pictured) made the comments in front of several people in 2006, but the video surfaced this week, at a time when he seeks reelection. The controversial remarks were made during his first campaign.
The conversation starts with Youngblood asking a question about a hypothetical scenario in which a deputy shoots a suspect he is chasing in the streets.
Which way do you think is better financially, to cripple them or kill them…for the county?
the sheriff asked.
When one person suggested that killing them would be better, he replied, “Absolutely.” Youngblood even explained why gunning down and killing a suspect is cheaper: because a crippled inmate would require healthcare his entire life.
A Dead Suspect is Better for the County’s Budget
The sheriff concludes that leaving a suspect impaired for life is “millions and millions of dollars” more expensive than killing him. He added that, after a “bad shoot” that leaves the suspect dead, three million dollars given to the family will fix the issue for good.
The video surfaced Monday on the Facebook page of a group that backs Youngblood’s rival, Justin Fleeman, during this year’s election. After releasing the footage, the Kern County Detention Officers Association explained that the clip is proof that Kern County sheriff’s office is in “desperate need” for a change.
Youngblood replied to the criticism, claiming that he had no intention to instruct deputies to shoot and kill suspects. He was speaking hypothetically to make the cost of police violence clearer.
The sheriff acknowledged that how he discussed the issue was inappropriate and wished he would have “said it differently.”
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