A video was released by a jail guard union from 12 years ago that shows Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood saying it's cheaper to kill inmates rather than cripple them. Youngblood does not deny making the remark in the tape but he does say context is important and he wasn't advocating killing inmates.
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<a href="http://www.bakersfield.com/news/detention-deputy-union-releases-election-hit-piece-video-shows-youngblood/article_129e3396-3c55-11e8-9559-7726275eb270.html">The short video</a> is only 1-minute long and it was released Monday by the Kern County Detention Officers Association. Youngblood says the deputies working on detention duties now are better trained than they ever have been. The actual clip shows Youngblood referring to the costs of lawsuits that are a result of deputy misconduct saying, "There’s a good reason for that: millions and millions of dollars."
Youngblood then turns to the audience and asks, "Which way do you think is better financially? To cripple them or kill them, for the county?" Someone from the audience says "Kill them" to which Youngblood replies, "Absolutely. Because if we cripple them we get to take care of them for life, and that cost goes way up."
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The video was released as part of the election race between Justin Fleeman and Youngblood in the June primary election for sheriff, the Detention Officers Association supports Fleeman. The scene was originally shot in 2006 when Youngblood was campaigning for sheriff before he was elected. According to Youngblood himself, the comments were in reference to the 2005 beating death of James Moore in custody. The case ended with criminal convictions of several deputies.
The sheriff remains adamant that he was only explaining the costs that occur when a deputy does something bad. "I've never inferred that we should shoot to kill," he said a recent interview. "Do I wish I would have said it differently? I certainly do," he added. He also pointed out the detention deputies "weren’t offended back then. Still, they are my words and I own them."
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