CA Sheriff Said It's Better to Kill Than Injure Suspects

[Content Note: Police brutality; disablism.]

One part of the ongoing conversation about police shootings in the United States is the debate, such as it is, about police shooting to kill. People wonder why it is that police shoot so many times and/or why they take fatal shots, instead of shots designed to incapacitate. Others respond with explanations about police being trained to shoot to kill and why that policy exists, which in turn yields questions about the decency and necessity of that policy.

But rarely is anyone on the police side of the discussion ever this sickeningly honest about why at least some police value fatal shootings over incapacitation shootings:
The sheriff of a county profiled by the Guardian after it was found to have the highest rate of killings by police in the US once said it is "better financially" for local authorities if officers kill suspects rather than badly injure them.

Sheriff Donny Youngblood of Kern County, California, who is currently running for re-election, made the remarks while addressing rank-and-file officers during his first campaign in 2006. Video of the meeting was recently found by an officers' union.

"You know what happens when a guy makes a bad shooting on somebody and kills them? Three million bucks and the family goes away after a long back and forth," Youngblood said.

He went on to say: "Which way do you think is better financially – to cripple them or kill them – for the county?" An unidentified man offscreen said "kill them," to which Youngblood replied: "Absolutely. Because if they're crippled we get to take care of them for life. And that cost goes way up."

The sheriff's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Note that it was an officers' union who made the recording public, so clearly not all police, even in Youngblood's own county, agree with this sociopathic trash position. But we can also be sure that Youngblood is not alone across the nation in believing that a fatal shootout is preferable to a lifetime of paying to care for someone disabled by a police shooting, just hanging around alive like a reminder of the harm an officer caused to another human being.

Vote this guy out, Kern County.

That isn't going to solve the many problems underwriting his despicable sentiment, but it's a damn good place to start.

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