STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – A Colorado sheriff said on social media that demonstrations around the country were not about race but were incited to create chaos during an election year. Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins wrote Tuesday on Facebook that the protests are “totally political” and fueled by “haters of America.”

CBS4’s Matt Kroschel interviews Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins in 2018. (credit: CBS)

Wiggins’ remarks came after a peaceful demonstration in Steamboat Springs over the death of George Floyd. Wiggins says he was disgusted at the video of Floyd’s death but that protests are an excuse for people to riot.

The Routt County Board of Commissioners that oversees his office’s budget has not yet commented on Wiggins’ remarks.

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  1. Tim Stephenson says:

    Good day,

    In the subject news report, Sheriff Wiggins of Routt County mentions on Facebook, and in a telephone interview that, “this nonsense our country is experiencing has nothing to do with race,” Mr. Wiggins bases his opinion on “thorough research and data.”

    Below is a link to a recent article published on June 2, 2020, that he may not have seen. I would be grateful if you could pass it on to him to assist him in his “research.” The article describes in detail the killing of 82 black men and boys by police officers. It took me less then five minutes to locate these facts. Mr. Wiggins may not have seen any of the plethora of information on this chapter of America law enforcement because he, like most other white Americans, including myself, would prefer to hold ourselves blameless and delude ourselves that each of those 81 victims were at fault.

    An interesting sidelight is that we (white American men) have also used this cover regarding sexual assault on women through years of America’s history.

    We also allow ourselves to believe that our criminal justice system is fair while incarcerating African Americans at five (5) times the rate of whites. America can proudly claim the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the world at 655 people per 100,000 citizens. We’re Number 1 and dwarf Russia at who lingers at number 21 on the list with a paltry 363 prisoners per 100K of population. So our “land of the free” has nearly doubled Russia’s incarceration rate.

    I hope the mention of these facts and statistics don’t qualify me as one of the “haters of America” the Sheriff blames for protests as I’m a proud military veteran and would view such an assumption with regret.

    In closing, I would post this link on Facebook; however, I closed my Facebook account during the run-up to the last presidential election. I later learned through court testimony that Cambridge Analytica had illegally purchased the personal information of 87 million Facebook users to use in a disinformation campaign financed by Russian operatives. Campaign purchases sometimes exceeded 1 million dollars a day on Facebook alone. But that’s another subject.

    Thank you very much for forwarding this email, and I hope it will not fall on jaundiced eyes.
    Tim Stephenson

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