A Harper County Sheriff’s Deputy is suspended after losing his temper and threatening to violate a bystander’s civil rights – all for asking one simple question. Jeff Jacobs, who was watching the police deal with a property dispute, asked Deputy Vance Williams why he didn’t detain a woman who had admitted to stealing a television. Instead of upholding his sworn oath to protect and serve, Deputy Vance Williams threatened Jacobs with arrest and jail, and appears to try and physically intimidate him.
“Why the fuck am I talking to you?” shouted Williams.
“Because I was curious,” replied Jacobs.
It appears that Jacobs answer only enraged the out-of-control Deputy even more. Deputy Williams continued lashing out expletives and threats of arrest and confinement, saying,
This is not my fucking jurisdiction … Say something else to me and we’ll see where this goes. Open your fucking mouth. Say something else. This is my … take your fucking sunglasses off. Now! Hat off … Do you want to spend the night in the fucking hoke (jail) cause you can’t shut your fucking mouth?
Jacobs was smart about his interaction with the Deputy, as he already had his video camera recording prior to speaking with the irate public servant. The video quickly went viral on YouTube, causing the Sheriff’s Department to suspend Deputy Vance Williams, who subsequently released this statement:
“I unfortunately used language that I should never have used,” said Deputy Williams. “I apologize to our community, to our county, commissioners, and to our sheriff. He would never condone that behavior.”
The deputy said he’s sorry for the exchange and says this has been a learning experience. However, the Deputy’s apology stopped short of taking full blame for his own actions, and placing it on a 3rd party who was present. “We were being provoked somewhat, not just me it was one individual towards the other ones there,” said the Deputy.
Regardless of whether or not someone else was harassing the Deputy, that is no reason to take an aggressive stance towards a citizen, who had no part in the ordeal, all for asking one simple question. With the aggressive and potentially violent nature displayed by Deputy Williams, one is left wonder why he is no longer teaching our children.
The sheriff did not say how long the Deputy’s suspension would last, though he did release the following statement via Facebook:
I would like to take this opportunity to address the video of the Harper County Sheriff Deputy this morning. This was an unfortunate incident that needed to be immediately addressed. We at the Sheriff Department have taken actions to rectify this situation, and are taking all necessary steps to ensure that this doesn’t occur again. We are in the process of implementing a policy and procedure with an acceptable way of dealing with individuals that are recording our law enforcement officers while they are performing their duties. We are also searching for training for all of our officers and how to react in these situations, this is all in the spirit of striving to provide the best possible service to the citizens of Harper County. All of our residents expect and deserve the best possible service, our office fell short in that aspect today, this is a shortfall that we greatly wish to rectify. The deputy in question acted inappropriately and I have dealt with those issues as quickly and effectively as was possible, having said that I have the utmost confidence in him moving forward from here. Though his actions may not have been appropriate his response to this situation has been exceptional, he has taken responsibility and owned up to his part in this situation. Please know that any and all citizens are important to me and my department, if anyone has any concerns or questions, I implore you to please contact me by coming by the Sheriff Department or by calling 620-842-5135.
You can contact the Sheriff using any of the links below: