On Friday afternoon when the most of the country was thinking about how they’d be spending their weekend, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Community Engagement Unit were busy making a video that looks like it was inspired by ISIS.
The concept of the video was simple: To warn heroin dealers that “the sheriff’s department is coming for you and you’d better be scared.” But the execution of the video had folks squirming on social media over the weekend.
In the Facebook video, with a very stern look on his tanned face, Sheriff Peyton C. Grinnell stands behind a podium next to four deputies with their arms crossed and black masks over their heads.
“To the dealers that are pushing this poison,” Grinnell says in the video, “I have a message for you: We’re coming for you. As a matter of fact, our undercover agents have already bought heroin from many of you. We are simply awaiting the arrest warrants to be finalized.”
According to a local media outlet, The Daily Commercial, this was the first video by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Community Engagement Unit. The goal of the unit is to create a better relationship with the community. We’re not sure this is the best way of going about that.
According to Lt. Michael Marden, the guy in charge of the unit that’s supposed to improve community and police relations, they shot the minute-and-a-half video in five takes, which seems absurd.
“Although it was the first, I’m happy with the result,” Marden told The Daily Commercial.
“So, to the dealers I say: Enjoy looking over your shoulder, constantly wondering if today is the day we come for you,” Grinnell states in the video. “Enjoy trying to sleep tonight wondering if tonight is the night our S.W.A.T. team blows your front door off the hinges. We are coming for you,” he continued. “If our agents can show the nexus between you, the pusher of poison, and the person that overdoses and dies, we will charge you with murder. We are coming for you. Run!”
Defenders of the video will be quick to say something along the lines of, “they are covering their faces with masks so that the dealers don’t know who they are,” which begs a few points that should probably be made:
- Could Sheriff Grinnell not have made the video without the four men standing next to him? He couldn’t have done it solo?
- Why are three of the men wearing sunglasses when the video was shot indoors? ISIS, which shoots a lot of their videos in the middle of the fucking desert, can rarely be seen wearing sunglasses.
- Why choose officers whose identities being exposed could compromise ongoing investigations? Why not just randomly choose one of the other nearly 700 officers of the Lake Country Sheriffs Department employs?
- If you were going to crack down on a bunch of heroin dealers, why warn them ahead of time? Now they know you’re on the hunt they’re more than likely just going to change up their operation. Even Donald Trump knows this: don’t warn your enemies before you make an attack!
- How is a video like this going to improve community and police relations?