Kennebec County Sheriff: Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Facebook post ‘right on point’ about police brutality
The Kennebec County Sheriff is agreeing with his counterpart in Piscataquis County over concerns about the blanket use of the words police brutality.
AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The Kennebec County Sheriff is agreeing with his counterpart in Piscataquis County over concerns about the blanket use of the words police brutality.
It comes after two local sheriff deputies were hospitalized over the weekend when they were injured while arresting a drunk driver.
The deputies are okay, but will be out of service for a while.
Piscataquis County Sheriff Bob Young shared his thoughts in a lengthy Facebook post Sunday.
Young said the routine OUI arrest turned into a violent confrontation when the suspect decided no one was going to take him to jail.
In the post, Young addressed that another deputy took a beating in the back of an ambulance from a man who overdosed.
Young said he wrote the post because he's quote "weary of the current labeling of police officers as being brutal, using unnecessary force and enjoying every moment of it".
He said the reason they have two deputies down is precisely because there was not any police brutality.
Kennebec County Sheriff, Ken Mason said Young is right on point with the post.
As public safety officers, Mason says their job is to deescalate a bad situation.
And, every time somebody is involved in a use of force, Mason says it must be documented.
“In the correctional facility, just like over here on the street, when they go hands-on and have to wrestle someone to the ground, that has to go onto a report. When they use a taser, that has to go into a use of force report. When a K9 officer deploys his K9 and that K9 has to bite an individual, that is a whole different use of force report because it is surrounding the K9. I think that we really do a great job up here policing ourselves,” explained Kennebec County Sheriff, Ken Mason.
Mason adds that use of force policies must be reviewed annually, and they are here in Maine.
From the Sheriff:
Yesterday morning, in the midnight hours, two of our deputies ended up at Mayo ER for injuries sustained while arresting a drunk driver. A routine OUI arrest turned into a violent confrontation when the suspect decided no one was going to take him to jail. The deputies will mend, although we’ll miss their service for a while. Last evening another deputy took a beating in the back of an ambulance from a guy who had overdosed.
I write this because I’m weary of the current labelling of police officers as being brutal; using unnecessary force and enjoying every moment of it. The reason we have two deputies down this day is precisely because there wasn’t any police brutality. Had there been, at the first sign of his resistance, he would been the patient in the ER.
We have two deputies out of service today because they are not brutal. Because, like virtually all Maine law enforcement agencies, we have policies and state law governing the use of force. But, quite frankly, more important is the internal checks these officers have. They are people of high character, and while there are a few exceptions, this is the rule. They are not violent men and women, and only resort to violence when truly needed.
Every officer I know, over the years, has suffered injuries as a result of this job. It goes with the territory. We have a corrections officer who just had surgery and is out for weeks because of a violent inmate. The brutality resides in the suspect who is drunk and angry, strung out and violent, or is just evil and angry at the world. They beat and intimidate everyone who stands against them, including the officers who respond to intervene.
We are more fortunate than some of our brothers & sisters; we live in a region where the vast majority respect the law. When they must go to jail for a particular crime, they don’t like it, but they know the deputy is doing their job. Even so, we frequently run into those who are going to take the hard way.
When I hear talk of police brutality, I recognize it is generally spoken in ignorance, not by ignorant people, but by people who’ve never tussled with a drunk, never broken up a bar fight, never tried to bring to justice a guy who’s letting his rage vent. People who’ve never been ambushed, ganged up on or sucker punched by the guy who’s playing nice. Police deal with the most violent among us, and to do so often necessitates meeting the violence with a greater strength. The gentle de-escalation often works, not always. And when the “not always” becomes the reality, someone better be ready to step to the front.
Call 911, your local officer will be there.
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