California Sheriff Thinks It’s ‘Financially Better’ to Kill Suspects Than to ‘Cripple’ Them

A sheriff running for re-election in Kern County, California — about two hours north of Los Angeles – now faces his own hateful remarks from over a decade ago.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood is being challenged in the upcoming election by his chief deputy, Justin Fleeman, who is supported by the Kern County Detention Officers Association (KCDOA). As the group reviewed old videos to find campaign promises that Youngblood hasn’t fulfilled, they came across footage from 2006 — the year the sheriff was first elected — containing some controversial comments:

“You know what happens when a guy makes a bad shooting on somebody and kills them?” Youngblood asks his audience. “Three million bucks and the family goes away after a long back and forth…Which way do you think is better financially – to cripple them or kill them – for the county?”

“Kill them,” yells an unidentified man off-camera.

To which Youngblood responds, “Absolutely. Because if they’re crippled we get to take care of them for life. And that cost goes way up.”

If you can’t believe that someone running for sheriff could make such cruel and offensive comments, check out the video here.

What’s even more disturbing is that this man was elected sheriff — and has been in office for 12 years. 

Why someone as disgraceful as Youngblood was even allowed to run for office is a major travesty — and one that makes clear that sheriffs should not be elected. When I first voted in California — after I moved from my native U.K. — I was astonished to see a vote for sheriff on my ballot. It’s been that way since California became a state in 1850, but it doesn’t make sense.

Sheriffs should be appointed after a professional job search. They should also be held accountable to a review board and have term limits.

Nevertheless, Youngblood has been Kern County Sheriff for 12 years. During that time he has fought California’s “sanctuary state” movement and stood behind deputies accused of misconduct.

Youngblood served as sheriff in 2015 when The Guardian published a series on Kern County. 13 people were killed by police in the county that year — the highest rate of killings in the U.S.

As The Guardian reports, “During the same period, nine people were killed by the NYPD in all of New York City, which had almost 10 times as many residents and about 23 times as many law enforcement officers.”

As a result of this series, both California’s attorney general and the American Civil Liberties Union have opened inquiries into the Kern County Sheriff’s office — and these investigations remain ongoing. In November of 2017, the ACLU released a report stating that there was a “disturbing pattern of shootings, beatings and canine attacks” in Kern County.

The KCDOA, which represents about 300 of Youngblood’s deputies, has now posted the video on the group’s Facebook page, along with a call to replace the sheriff: “The Kern County Sheriff’s Office is in desperate need of positive changes for the betterment of all Kern County citizens.”

It’s a disgrace that Youngblood ever became sheriff — and even more troubling that he’s now running for re-election.

Take Action!

If you agree, please sign this Care2 petition, asking that Donny Youngblood not run for office again, in light of his contemptible remarks and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office horrific record of violence.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If there’s an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.

 

Photo Credit: Richard Bauer/Flickr

94 comments

Sheila D
Sheila D5 months ago

Thanks for the information.

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Janis K
Janis K5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Amanda M
Amanda M5 months ago

noted

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Amanda M
Amanda M5 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Jonathan Y
Jonathan Y5 months ago

For our overseas friends: 58 counties in California. Kern County is NOT representative of our state, quite the reverse. It's an anomaly even among conservative counties. Please don't judge us by the rather atavistic culture of Kern. After all, we're also a place where surfers mix with tech titans, radicals with right-wingers, conservationists with hunters. California is a very diverse place.

Like most Western states in the U.S., our urban areas tend to be liberal and the rural ones conservative, but even these divisions are not uniform or monolithic in their ideology. For example, conservative Orange County is mostly urban and well-educated, though it segues into Riverside and San Bernardino which are more rural and right-leaning. Compared to them, Orange is moderate at times. It voted for Hillary, for instance, and for Jerry Brown in his first term.

Not arguing for conservative or liberal here. Most Californians would reject the Sheriffs' statements, and even in Kern itself there is public pressure for change. In fairly liberal Sacramento, the State Capitol, there was recently a bad police shooting. This was an anomaly for Sacramento, but it wasn't a conservative or liberal thing. It is a matter of public policy and reform. We have
a fairly responsive democracy here - after all, we're a patchwork of 40 million people from all over the world.

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckx5 months ago

Sorry for writing twice abt. the comments of Luna S. My laptop fell out, and when restarted, the message was gone. So, I tried to write approx. the same. Computers are nice things when they don't fail !!

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckx5 months ago

Really do not understand that such a creep has been Sheriff for 12 years. Is the average thinking of the people of Kern County that each Suspect can simply be shot dead, to avoid eventual expenses for treatment or disability of this suspect. This was done in mediaval times. However, this is no longer the case and I'm sure that everybody will agree with me.
Furthermore, I have never heard of the fact that a Sheriff is voted. This is asking for corruption on great scale. The one having the most money, telling the best stories and lies, and promising lots of nice things to the people, which he never can realize, will certainly be voted. Does that mean he is the best Sheriff ? Most certainly not.
First of all, each candidate should be scrutinized specially concerning absurd ideas, compassion and value for the human life, etc.. A sheriff must represent the law and there is no law that gives permission to someone to execute a suspect person. It would be far better that a Sheriff is nominated by the Community and the mayor, as is the case in most W. European countries, after having carefully studied the C.V. of all candidates. Moreover, all candidates must have an impeccable career as police officer for several years.

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckx5 months ago

@ Luna S : HOW MANY TIMES WILL YOU WRITE A HEAP OF CRAP ON THIS SITE ?? First of all a police officer can not INSTANTLY judge whether a suspect committed a minor crime or not. Furthermore, it is only a judge who can determine how the suspect is to be sentenced. Execution was done in mediaval times. Luckily, this is no longer allowed now. Therefore, please stop writing any further comments. You have a very strange twist in your thinking, which NONE of us can appreciate.

One more point : Have you never heard of a sentence ?? Then you use a full stop. In your comment of 5,5 lines, there is no full stop, no comma, nothing !! Educate yourself on many different levels.

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Nicole H
Nicole Heindryckx5 months ago

@ Luna S : how many more times will you write some scary, filthy, indecent comments on this site. First you must tell me how an officer or cop can instantly judge whether the perpetrator did ONLY a misdemeanor or not ? Just by looking at the face ? You only pay for the treatment costs of such a suspect when it can be proven that the officer or cop did shoot him without a good reason. If this is the law in your country. Normally, it is the shooter who is responsible for all costs. It is NOT the first time that people committing a theft or so are shot dead, and that the police man is not even kept responsible for his act.
We are supposed to be humans, meaning we have compassion for people, even when they commit a minor crime. When the police thinks they are authorized to shoot everyone dead, then why do we still need laws, Justice and judges ?? The life of everyone is to be respected, and when it is proven that a certain individual has committed (a)severe crime/s, we DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXECUTE THEM.

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Dot A
Dot A5 months ago

Yep, that's how too many value life nowadays. By $$$$. Obviously, we've spent "zip" on the origins of crime and the prevention of criminal behavior. Look at Trump,... (???) Are we really in shock over this? I don't think so. "It THE ECONOMY stupid!", is what rings out election after election. And as far as truth goes, the despicable elected sheriff is correct: - no prison costs, - hospital bills, - no lawyers fighting, - no endless battles between families, friends, police, civil courts, social media, - but, but, but, - Where are we heading if human life is seen as a throw away commodity??? We need to find the reasons why people ok themselves to commit crimes (INCLUDING PROFESSIONAL CRIMES!), and guide our society, our culture, our global community towards constructive, purposeful, meaningful, spiritually worthwhile lives. Otherwise, we are going the 'Wrong Way!'

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