A recently discovered video of a California sheriff talking to law enforcement officers shows Kern County’s chief lawman explaining that killing citizens is better than wounding or injuring them because it costs less money and makes the family “go away.”
Although Kern County had a population of 875,000 people in 2015, its law enforcement officers were responsible for more deaths than any other county in America that year, according to the Guardian. During that year, Kern County deputies and Bakersfield, Calif., police killed 1.5 people for every 100,000 residents, more than three times the rate of Los Angeles County and 10 times the rate of the New York Police Department in 2015.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Department is led by Donny Youngblood, who has served as sheriff of the county for more than a decade. During his first campaign in 2006, Youngblood spoke to a group of police officers, telling the cops that shooting to kill was better financially for his department.
“You know what happens when a guy makes a bad shooting and somebody kills them?” Youngblood explained. “Three million bucks and the family goes away after a long back and forth.”
“When a deputy shoots someone in the streets, which way do you think is better financially—to cripple them or kill them—for the county?” Youngblood asked. When someone replied, “Kill them,” Youngblood responded, “Absolutely. Because if they’re crippled we get to take care of them for life. And that cost goes way up.”
The video was uploaded to Facebook by the Kern County Detention Officers Association on Monday and called for the sheriff to be replaced. The group told the Guardian that the full hour of video contains even more concerning quotes and said the group was “disgusted” by the video.
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