In the one-minute clip released Monday by the Kern County Detention Officers Association, shows Youngblood saying “There’s a good reason for that: millions and millions of dollars.” In addressing inmate costs, Youngblood asks the audience: “Which way do you think is better financially? To cripple them or kill them, for the county?” An audience member says”Kill them” and Youngblood says “Absolutely, because if we cripple them we get to take care of them for life, and that cost goes way up.”
The video is from a 2006 meeting with Youngblood during his successful first campaign and Youngblood insists that he was merely explaining (after the beating death of an inmate in 2005) about the relative costs of bad deputies. He insisted that he never suggested that deputies should shoot to kill. While he regrets the way he said it, he said that he was making a comment on the costs of police abuse not endorsing such abuse.
I have watched the video and he does start the exchange by highlight the costs of “a bad shooting.” However, it is bizarre that he would then turn to a discussion of the relative costs of killing or crippling and noting that “if they’re crippled, we get to take care of them for life. And that cost goes way up.”
Notably, Youngblood may have become precisely one of those litigation costs that he was bewailing. Even if he was not encouraging the use of lethal force, his words will likely be introduced at every future police shooting trial. City officials would well ask “Which way do you think is better financially? To cripple him politically or kill him politically, for the county?”
50 thoughts on “Sheriff Youngblood: Cheaper To Kill Than Wound Suspects”
In the state I live in we just lost a 29 year old police officer who was shot in the head while serving a warrant. The “alleged” murderer over the past decade has had nearly 120 ” interactions ” with law enforcement. The first ” interaction” was for cocain trafficking in his late teens. Now we will have to take care of him forever. Yes, I agree with sheriff Youngblood.
For 15 years, the homicide rate in the Bakersfield municipality has bounced around a set point of 8.2 per 100,000. If it be lower in adjacent areas, the rate for the whole dense settlement might be about 7 per 100,000. That’s above the national mean, but not extraordinary.
Lawyers who are familiar with civil rights litigation and who work the area where this cop is should look for a recent case where there was a killing of a citizen by a cop and the reasons were not justified. Not some Michael Brown kinda guy but something where the dead guy was unarmed, no threat, and had his hands up when shot. Sue the shooting cop and the Police Chief or Sheriff who put out these words. This is civil rights violation. Conspiracy to commit civil rights violation resulting in death. 42 U.S.C. Secton 1982, 1985 (conspiracy). Sue the town as well. Sue for damages and punitive damages. The surviving relatives and plaintiffs for damages also sue for declaratory and injunctive relief so that they do not get shot and killed.
Why is this so controversial? It’s not as if we live in a nation where the right to life is believed to be unalienable. What this sheriff has said is not a whole lot different than what we’ve seen in the undercover abortion videos talking about procedures and baby body parts. Neither the sheriff or the abortion providers were stating things that were not true; horrific yes, if you value life, But if you support a woman’s right to kill her baby, regardless of the reason, then you’ve lost any moral leg to stand on when a sheriff is discussing the cost/benefit of killing suspects. Even more outrageous is while the baby is purely innocent, there seems to be far more concern for the life of a criminal suspect that likely is not.
One other point, the story reports Kern County had 79 deaths (assumed to be officer involved) from 2005 to 2015. That’s a very bad holiday weekend of gang violence on the south side of Chicago. But shhhhh, we aren’t supposed to talk about that.
Actually, that’s quite extraordinary. Police killings in the country as a whole average about 360 per year. Something is wrong with their procedures if 2% of them are occurring in one county in California which houses a 3d tier city.
Extraordinary and certainly worthy of a root cause analysis. Bakersfield, or for that matter Kern County is far from 3rd tier for meth production. Chicago, a 1st tier city, has had 120 murders so far in 2018. Would Kern county have fewer killings if they had the 1st tier medical response available in Chicago? Would Chicago have even more killings if they had the 3rd tier medical response of Kern county?
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