Sheriff Salazar urges everyone to ‘chill out’ in the aftermath of the Black Rifle Coffee Co. social media firestorm

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar is asking people to “relax” following social media attacks directed at other county leaders following his request for a rescue boat.

In a long Facebook post on Wednesday morning, Salazar said he was returning from a family vacation to the coast. His post appeared with a photo of an unshaven Salazar holding a coffee mug by the beach with the words, “Back from vacation. What did I miss? “

“Yes, I was there to disconnect and relax a bit, but I couldn’t help but keep up with what’s going on in the world of social media and in the news. Can we please stop? the sheriff said in his message. “Judge (Nelson) Wolff and Commissioner (Trish) DeBerry are treated a little harshly by the comments.”

The message came two days after Wolff published a letter on Monday he sent to Salazar that day, objecting to the “vile and despicable” remarks on social media.

The events leading up to the online war of words began with Salazar’s initial request to commissioners on April 6 to accept a $ 20,000 donation from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Foundation for a lifeboat.

DeBerry, a self-proclaimed moderate Republican and fiscal conservative, grilled the recently re-elected Democratic sheriff over the boat, calling it a “shiny new toy” and wondering if it should be a priority. She suggested that nonprofit funds be used instead to equip detention officers at Bexar County Jail, where mandatory overtime has raised concerns about costs and manpower. DeBerry and other commissioners have asked Salazar to return with information on the operation, maintenance, storage and other details on the boat.

But weeks have passed, and a $ 32,000 donation from veteran-owned Black Rifle Coffee Co. for the boat in early June was widely publicized on social media and in news reports. Jarred Taylor, one of the co-owners of the business, publicly berated DeBerry on her Instagram page, saying she made fun of Salazar for asking for necessary equipment from the community.

“Do you mean trash politicians?” Read Taylor’s Instagram post. “Let’s talk about @trishforcommish, our county commissioner who sat down and made fun of our sheriff when he asked for funds to buy a life saving johnboat for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department.”

A series of rude comments directed at DeBerry by others followed, and she then said her Instagram account “blew up” with foul language from people across the country.

Wolff then sent his stern letter on Monday to Salazar, saying he would not accept the donation of the black rifle, which the commissioners have the power to reject. He said he would consider other funding options, including the use of taxpayer funds, if the sheriff explained the need for the boat and other details on its use to the commissioners. Wolff also criticized Salazar for fueling anger against DeBerry.

“The contemptible behavior displayed in this case is nothing less than an affront to human dignity and the values ​​of tolerance and respect that we share as a community – it should not be tolerated,” Wolff wrote.

For her part, Taylor has since slammed Wolff’s letter, saying the sheriff’s office needs the boat and should not be denied the donation to buy it due to random comments on social media. He did not remove his Instagram post.

Salazar initially released a brief statement on Monday, saying he had not ignored the caustic online comments. His post on Wednesday showed empathy for DeBerry.

“Although she is a public servant, Commissioner Trish DeBerry is a woman and should be treated as such at all times. She’s someone’s mother and someone’s daughter, all of you. Would we want our mother or our daughter to be subjected to it? No, so please stop. You can disagree with it, but don’t be ugly, ”urged Salazar.

As for Wolff, the sheriff urged everyone to “fire him as well.”

“Would I have liked him to call me instead of pushing this letter?” Yes. Do I agree with everything in it? No. But Judge Wolff has served our community for 50 years. Please show him the respect he deserves, ”the sheriff wrote. He noted that Wolff and his father, Placido Salazar, are the same age – 80 – and “I still love and respect them a lot”, even though “both of them chase me quite often”.

County leaders, noting that other public safety agencies own boats, questioned whether a boat would make a crucial difference. Salazar thinks so.

“I promise we are moving as fast as possible to purchase equipment and training, but please everyone stay safe on the water,” he wrote.

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