Butler County Sheriff: ‘I don’t kneel for any cause’
HAMILTON, Ohio (FOX19) - As police around the country and in Greater Cincinnati kneel in solidarity with protesters over George Floyd’s death, you won’t see a certain local cowboy hat-wearing lawman joining in.
We reached out to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones earlier this week when Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil and deputies kneeled at the request of protesters outside the Hamilton County Justice Center and Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac and officers also kneeled outside District 1 headquarters.
Jones declined to comment or say if he would kneel until Wednesday.
Then, the cigar-smoking Trump supporter who is chairing the president’s re-election campaign in Butler County said that while he will stand for equality, he will not kneel “for any cause.”
"What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis was criminal and unacceptable. We are all Americans no matter our race, gender, or creed, we are all created equal. We should unite as a nation in believing there should be justice for all.
"I believe everyone deserves life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe in the First Amendment, your freedom of speech, and I believe in the freedom to protest.
“With that being said, I believe kneeling will always be tied to disrespecting our National Anthem. I have been asked if I am going to take a knee at a protest and I am not. I only kneel for my country and I will kneel before God one day. I don’t kneel for any cause.”
So what does he think about other law enforcement officials kneeling, including Sheriff Neil and Chief Isaac?
“To each their own. I don’t condemn them for doing it. That’s their choice. Living in America is a great place to live and they get to make that choice themselves," he said.
“I personally am not and will not.”
What if kneeling helps to improve police-community relations? Would he kneel then?
“No. When they are throwing rocks and knocking windows out and looting and giving the police the finger and yelling derogatory things at the police and are up in their faces, no, it’s not going to help at all," he said.
“It’s not helped Cincinnati. They are still having protests. They are still having protests and knocking windows out.”
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