WICHITA, Kansas – 8 News sister station KSN News is looking into a video posted on YouTubeFriday morning involving a Harper County Sheriff’s deputy, and the use of profane language. Several viewers contacted the newsroom about the video.
KSN has confirmed with that the man in the video is a deputy with the Harper County Sheriff’s department, and that he has since been suspended. Deputy Vance Williams is now apologizing to the community.
“I unfortunately used language that I should never have used,” said Deputy Williams. “I apologize to our community, to our county, commissioners, and to our sheriff. He would never condone that behavior.”
“You can’t talk to people like that,” said Jeff Jacobs, who recorded the video and posted it online. “[Officers] supposed to be a protector, not come over here and put me down like that just ’cause I asked a question.”
The deputy was called out to the town of Harper to investigate a dispute over property, between several people. Both the deputy and the man who was recording say the portion of the video posted online, called “Harper ks sheriff needs sensitivity training” did not include how things were getting heated up before the incident.
“I was kinda blowing up on him, you know, and using profound language and stuff like that,” said Derek Vandolah, who lives at the residence where the situation unfolded.
The video posted online starts with Jacobs asking the officer about a dispute involving a stolen television.
The deputy says, “I don’t need anything from you. This is not my (expletive) jurisdiction. You understand that.”
Jacobs responds, “No, I don’t. I don’t have a clue. I don’t know what is going on.”
The sheriff’s deputy asks for Jacob’s driver’s license. Jacobs responds that he doesn’t have it with him, and the deputy tells him to sit down.
“Say something else to me, and we will see where this goes. Open your (expletive) mouth and say something else. This is not my, take your (expletive) sunglasses off now. Hat off. Give me your identification.”
Jacobs responds that his ID is at home, responds with his name, and the officer tells him to walk.
“You want to spend your night in the (expletive) poke (jail) because you can’t shut your (expletive) mouth. Walk! Enjoy your walk.”
When we reached out to Deputy Williams, he says the situation was tense.
“We were being provoked somewhat, not just me it was one individual towards the other ones there,” said Williams.
Jacobs feels the deputy’s response was unacceptable.
“All I did was ask him a simple question. I expected an answer, or a ‘hey man, it’s really none of your business,’” said Jacobs.
The deputy said he’s sorry for the exchange and says this has been a learning experience. He’s been with the department for about 6 months, after changing careers from teaching and administration. He told KSN that his inexperience contributed to his response.
“I believe the whole story wasn’t aired for everybody to see,” said Sheriff Tracy Chance, who said he knows that deputies can respond to calls that become intense. But he said the language is inexcusable.
“As far as the language goes, yeah I don’t agree with it and I’ve dealt with that,” said Sheriff Chance.
Neither Sheriff Chance or Williams wanted to say how long the suspension would last, but Chance said he wished the residents would have come to him with concerns first.
“This video was never sent to me, It was just thrown on social media and then I started getting phone calls,” said Chance. “My door is always open. I will sit and talk to ya.”