Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood issued a video response to the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis and the national unrest that has followed.
Youngblood said that after reviewing the video and talking to his staff, they determined there was no excuse for what the officers did and did not do to Floyd.
“There’s a requirement by law to intervene when excessive force is being used by a police officer and you’re a police officer. That didn’t happen in this case,” Youngblood said.
He said that the use of a knee to hold someone down is not a training method taught within the Sheriff’s Office. Youngblood said he has reviewed the KCSO’s policies and procedures and wants to ensure something such as what happened to Floyd never happens within his department.
“I want you to know that I expect — I demand — if a deputy is using excessive force that another deputy intervenes if he or she is there. It’s not a request, they know it’s mandatory,” said Youngblood.
Youngblood ensured the Sheriff’s Office mitigates abuses of force by officers through the use of body cameras on every deputy and audits all reports. He also said the KCSO has an internal affairs system that notifies the officials if one deputy has multiple complaints.
“We know in Minneapolis that the officer allegedly had many complaints,” Youngblood said. “We want to ensure if an officer gets two or three complaints we pull that file and pull that officer in and see if there’s a problem and see if we can resolve it before we have an incident like (in Minneapolis).”
Youngblood said he was 100 percent in support of people who want to protest. He also urged to not let the protests get hijacked by people who are in it “for the wrong reasons.”
“(The Sheriff’s Office) is here to protect you and everyone, and we’re going to do that,” Youngblood said. “Make no mistake about it, our job is public safety and we’re going to protect you.”
View the video on Facebook: