Even though he said a a tweet he issued was taken out of context, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said he removed the tweet because it was turning into a platform for “hateful and hurtful speech.”
Boudreaux also stated he “sincerely apologized” to anyone he may have offended but added his words were misconstrued.
But he said only a portion of the tweet he removed was being shared and didn't accurately reflect all of his views he shared in the entire tweet. Boudreaux issued his apologize as part of a video he posted that can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/SheriffMikeBoudreaux
In a portion of his original tweet that has since been deleted Boudreaux wrote about those who are essentially expressing their hatred for law enforcement, "let them know whenever you dial 911 or need emergency police services, you no longer wish for them to respond to your calls for help."
But in the video, Boudreaux stated following that portion of the tweet "I tweeted directly after that, “Regardless of your position or belief in cops or the environment surrounding law enforcement right now, we will and always will respond and provide safety, even to those who hate us.”
Boudreaux also stated: “People were selecting only a small portion of the tweet and sharing the part that was completely manipulating my words.”
He went on to state: “I regret deeply that this is happening and that people have taken my words out of context. And I sincerely apologize to anyone I may have offended. In never would intentionally do that.”
But among those who criticized Boudreaux was Farmersville Mayor Greg Gomez, stating action may be taken for Boudreaux to be fired. He added the tweet "Insinuates and promulgates the notion that it's OK for officers to enforce laws unevenly. That unravels the trust in our communities that our officers must build and rebuild after every incident of excessive use or deadly use of force."
Boudreaux began his video by stating “From the beginning I have completely condemned the loss of George Floyd.”
Boudreaux was referring to the African-American man who died in Minneapolis, Minn., after police officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
Boudreaux went on to state as a young deputy he was deployed to the riots that happened in Los Angeles 1992 following the verdict that cleared police officers of wrongdoing in the Rodney King beating.
“I personally know what it feels like to be fighting for justice as people called you a racist and yelled that you were the problem,” said Boudreaux about that experience. “As a young officer I vowed that would never happen here. I respect all races, creeds and colors. I was raised to respect all people. Being called a racist in my opinion is just hateful and you don't know who I am because that's not who I am.”
Boudreaux also stated his department will protect protestors.
“Let me be very clear I was not saying or implying that law enforcement officers should not respond to emergency calls made by people who are protesting,” he said. “I would never encourage that or allow that to happen. The safety of all people in Tulare County regardless of whether you support the police is always a priority of mine.”
But he also said about those who are protesting violently and promoting anti-cop rhetoric he would like to “remind them many of the people they protest against actually sympathize with them and would support them as a community. But the violence happening right now is not the answer.”
Boudreaux said his goal is to operate the sheriff's office in a “manner in which you can be proud. Anything short of that is unacceptable.”
He added he supports peaceful protestors. “Like the rest of American I'm disgusted with what happened to George Floyd,” he said. “It was wrong and gross police action. We stand behind peaceful protestors demanding justice because we want justice too.”
But Boudreaux also said the burning of police cars, the torching of businesses and the vandalism of the law enforcement memorial in Sacramento was “inexcusable.”
He also lamented the death of federal protective service officer Patrick Underwood, who was killed in a shooting during protests in Oakland.