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Public Opposition Mounts To Hancock County Sheriff's Proposal To Acquire Riot Gear

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Elvert Barnes
/
Flickr/Creative Commons
U.S. Capitol Police don riot gear in Washington, D.C., in 2008.

A request by Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane to purchase riot gear for his agency drew public opposition during a virtual meeting of the county commissioners on Tuesday.

More than 60 people tuned in for a three-hour forum that was at times testy, even though the request had been removed from the agenda. While some speakers said they appreciated how hard a job policing is, the agency’s request for helmets, batons and gloves lacked public support.

Kierra Luu said she doesn’t think it’s necessary.

“We’ve had super peaceful protests and the police in Ellsworth at the protests that I’ve attended have been supportive of our First Amendment rights, and I think that’s what we need in this community. We don’t need riot gear. I think that would only further increase distrust with the police,” she said.

Hancock County Administrator Scott Adkins said he’s gathering the comments that have been received, and that the riot gear request won’t be considered without a serious review.

“Including, and possibly not limited to, a public hearing before the commissioners would allow that,” he said.

Originally published 4:13 p.m. June 16,2020