A sheriff from a California county with a disproportionately sized number of police shootings one said that it costs less to kill a suspect than to wound them.
In a 2006 video obtained by the New York Daily News, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood is seen asking a question to a room of people.
“When a deputy shoots somebody, which way is better financially? To cripple them or kill them for the county?,” Youngblood can be heard asking in the video.
Someone off camera responds with, Kill them?”
“Absolutely,” he can be heard saying. “Because if you cripple them you have to take care of them for life and that cost goes way up.”
The video, which was taken when he was trying to get endorsements for his run for Sheriff, was released by Kern County Detention Officers Association, one of the police unions that supports his opponent chief deputy Justin Fleeman, according to the Daily News.
“You know what happens if a guy makes a bad shooting on somebody — kills them,” Youngblood said. “Three million bucks and the family goes away.”
A Guardian report labeled Kern County law enforcement as “America’s Deadliest Police” force. In 2015, the county had less than 900,000 residents, but twice as many police shootings as New York City.
Youngblood told Bakesfield.com that his words were taken out of context.
“I’ve never inferred that we should shoot to kill,” Youngblood said. “Do I wish I would have said it differently? I certainly do. They weren’t offended back then. Still, they are my words and I own them.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.