A sheriff in Butler County, Ohio is making headlines for unequivocally supporting law enforcement officers. Sheriff Richard Jones is alarmed by what he is seeing in news reports of civil unrest in cities across the country and he has a message to protesters – “You shoot at the police expect us to shoot back.”

He’s isn’t playing around when it comes to the safety of his deputies. He has seen the lawlessness in the streets and the violence perpetrated on law enforcement officers. He’s not having it in his county.

“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,” Sheriff Jones stated.

He referenced people dumping water on police in New York, bricks, and frozen water bottles being thrown at police in Portland, Oregon, and people shooting at officers in Chicago.

Jones is not tolerating that behavior toward his own deputies, he said.

“You shoot at the police expect us to shoot back,” Jones said. “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.”

Sheriff Jones posted his statement on the department’s Facebook page.

IF YOU THINK ABOUT COMING TO BUTLER COUNTY TO ABUSE POLICE
THINK AGAIN

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones states he has seen the lawlessness in the country over the last few months directed towards police. The Sheriff has seen water dumped on police in New York, bricks and frozen water bottles thrown at police as well as officers blinded by lasers in Portland, Oregon. In addition, Police have been shot at in Chicago and all across the country.

“I won’t tolerate it, period. You shoot at the police expect us to shoot back. 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,” states Sheriff Jones.

Many of the replies to the post echo sentiments from most Americans. Why isn’t every county’s law enforcement making the same statement? Why are violent protesters allowed to roam wild without consequences, placing law enforcement in harm’s way? We’ve seen actions on the ground get so bad in some places, that the police officers and deputies are resigning. Instead of the protesters being sent packing, or jailed if violating local laws, it’s law enforcement that is leaving. Appeasement never works. Seattle’s police chief is out, which is a shame. She was making some inroads within the community before the riots took over in the city.

Sheriff Butler listed some examples he’s seen, including people dumping water on police in New York, bricks, and frozen water bottles being thrown at police in Portland, Oregon, and people shooting at officers in Chicago. It is the same thing we’ve all seen in news reports. This isn’t the first time this summer that the sheriff has been in the news. In July he said, “I am not going to be the mask police.” That was in reference to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s statewide mandate for everyone to wear a face mask.

Though not mentioned in the sheriff’s press release, this statement in support of his deputies came just two days after police officers came under attack during a police chase. He was addressing the Defund Police movement. He’s not a fan.

The most recent incident involving shots fired at police officers locally occurred Monday in suburban Warren County, when a chase resulted in a shootout during which a Middletown police officer sustained gunshot wounds.

On Tuesday, elsewhere in Ohio, a flag flown in support of police has come under attack. The thin blue line version of the American flag was carried onto the field before a high school football game on Friday night. It was to show support of the relationship the schools had formed with first responders after the Chardon High School shooting in 2012. Michael Hanlon, the superintendent of Chardon Local Schools, explained afterwards in a letter that this will no longer be allowed. He cites the political nature seen by some in the gesture. He blames “the turbulent times facing our nation now.”

Based on discussions that ensued over the weekend, it does not appear that this action was motivated by racism, rather a show of support for one of our coaches who serves as a police officer, as well as for the first responders in our community who have developed a special relationship with our school and students in the wake of our school tragedy of February 27, 2012. Nevertheless, it is understandable how this could be interpreted as a racially-motivated action and, therefore, not acceptable in a school community.

Our school district is fundamentally anti-racist as reflected in Board of Education policies ranging from Equal Employment Opportunity to matters of student and staff activities. Our goal is to ensure that all students, staff and community members are provided the same opportunities to grow and learn in Chardon Schools and that this occurs in an environment that values the contributions of every school
community member. Our staff members work to support that goal in our classrooms and through lessons
learned within the scope of extracurricular activities.

Further, school district policy does not permit engagement in political activity. Nevertheless, it is important emphasize that we clearly understand how this action could be perceived as political in nature. As a result, this display will not be a part of future pre-game activities at Chardon athletic contests. In addition,measures will be put in place by our Athletic Director to review any planned pre-game displays for
possible connections to any form of discrimination or particular political views.

The district is committed to an atmosphere that respects and values every individual within our school community and is in the process of engaging with an equity/organizational development consultant to review policies, practices and systems throughout the district. The goal of this work will be to improve awareness and to develop specific strategies that will enable us to move forward effectively.

That’s 2020 in a nutshell, right? The American flag is all about white supremacy, the thin blue line flag is a racist message, and everyone is to be respected except for the police.