In 2018, Kenosha Sheriff Said Some People "Aren't Worth Saving"
In the aftermath of the police shooting of a Black man on Sunday and a white teenager being charged with a double murder amid the ensuing protests, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth is under renewed scrutiny over comments he made in 2018 that some people “aren’t worth saving.”
- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Beth’s controversial remarks came after “the arrest of five people for shoplifting close to $5,000 of merchandise from Prime Outlets in Pleasant Prairie and a subsequent high-speed chase that ended in a collision with another vehicle.” All five of the individuals were black.
- The sheriff said at the time: "I'm to the point where I think society has to come to a threshold where there are some people that aren't worth saving. We need to build warehouses to put these people into it and lock them away for the rest of their lives. These five people could care less about that 16-year-old who just got his driver's license yesterday. They drove through a red light, they stole thousands of dollars worth of clothing, and they don't care.”
"Let's put them in jail. Let's stop them from, truly, at least some of these males, going out and getting 10 other women pregnant and having small children. Let's put them away. At some point, we have to stop being politically correct. I don't care what race, I don't care how old they are. If there's a threshold that they cross. These people have to be warehoused, no recreational time in jails. We put them away for the rest of their lives so the rest of us can be better."
- According to Kenosha News, the sheriff also said, “I have no issue with these five people completely disappearing. At (this) point, these people are no longer an asset to our community, and they just need to disappear.”
- Beth later apologized for the comments, saying, “In the press conference, I should have kept my comments better directed toward the incident itself and not allowed my emotions to get the better of me at the time.”
- “My goal is to do my best to protect those that live, work, play or travel through Kenosha County,” he continued. “In the situation last week, my comments did not necessarily live up to even my own expectations for my office, and I again apologize.”
CNBC describes Beth’s answer at a recent press conference when confronted with the fact that the teenage shooter this week was able to walk right past police after the shootings without being apprehended.
According to witness accounts and video footage, police apparently let the young man responsible for the shootings walk past them with a rifle over his shoulder with his hands in the air as members of the crowd were yelling for him to be arrested because he had shot people.
As for why the gunman was allowed to leave, Sheriff David Beth portrayed the scene as chaotic, with screaming, chanting, nonstop radio traffic and “people running all over the place.”
“I can picture all kinds of reasons why I wasn’t focusing on people doing that. In situations that are high stress, you have such incredible tunnel vision, you have no idea what’s outside here when you’re looking right here,” he said.