Does the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office condemn law enforcement’s overwhelmingly widespread use of militarized tactics and chemical weapons against its own American civilians?

Even after Sheriff Harkins’ Facebook statement on June 2, the answer is still unknown.

Given the statement, the focus somehow rigidly remains on the bad apple cops. Sheriff Harkins writes, “Please remember these few bad officers do not represent law enforcement as a whole, millions of us do it for the right reasons and truly care about the people we serve and protect.” I highly respect our specific county’s law enforcement, especially because it keeps its total budget as low as 5 percent of the county’s education budget, at least by my calculations. However, the previous two weeks (and arguably the entirety of law enforcement) have clearly falsified the bad apple argument.

And why does law enforcement refuse to provide the bad apple argument with protesters? We cannot expect untrained civilians to behave with composure at all times. Furthermore, many criminals co-opt this movement in order to justify their looting. Let it be very clear that the overwhelming majority of protesters condemn violence and looting. Why is it that the highly trained regiment that is law enforcement rots in entirety from “a few bad apples”?

Do Sheriff Harkins and Chief England, as well as Mayor Burke and Gov. Little, as civil servants, condemn the law enforcement’s widespread use of militarized tactics and chemical weapons against its own American civilians? Tear gas was banned during wartime by Geneva in 1925—banned against your enemy, let alone your own people.

Paul Davis, Sun Valley

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