BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio – A sheriff in southwestern Ohio issued a warning Wednesday to those who may wish to harm the officers in his department.
Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones wrote in a press release that “lawlessness” directed towards law enforcement won’t be tolerated in his community north of Cincinnati.
“You shoot at the police expect us to shoot back,” wrote Jones. “I will not allow my deputies or any law enforcement officer in Butler County to take the abuse I have seen over the past several months. If you come to this county expecting a free pass to harm one of my men or women in uniform keep in mind, nothing in life is free.”
The sheriff cited incidents in other parts of the country over the past few months, including water being dumped on police in New York, projectiles being thrown and lasers being used to blind officers in Portland, and law enforcement being shot in U.S. cities like Chicago.
The sheriff’s comments come at a time when people across the country are protesting police brutality and advocating for racial justice in their communities. While demonstrators have clashed with officers during some of these protests, it should be noted that a large majority of demonstrations have been peaceful.
The sheriff’s office’s press release was posted on Facebook and has begun to go viral, racking up nearly 3,000 shares in less than a day.
Jones has made other controversial statements in the past. In 2017, the sheriff made headlines when he said he had no intention of having his deputies use Narcan to help people who have overdosed.