A Kentucky sheriff said that if one of his deputies had to shoot somebody — as happened Sunday morning — he’s glad that that somebody was white.
Nelson County Sheriff Ed Mattingly made the surprising admission during a press conference on Monday. He was providing details on the Mother’s Day shooting in Bardstown of 25-year-old John Kennedy Fenwick, who is white.
“We do not want trouble. We are glad that he is white, and we shouldn’t have to be worried about that,” Mattingly said.
He made the remark in response to a reporter’s question about whether the sheriff’s department was worried about backlash from the community over the shooting. A sheriff’s deputy shot Fenwick twice after he rammed a stolen pickup truck into three separate police vehicles, causing one to burst into flames.
Fenwick, who has a history of mental health problems, is expected to survive.
“Well, we must take notice of previous cases…and how the media has handled those situations,” Mattingly said, seemingly referring to recent police-involved shootings and deaths that have gained national attention and led to protests and riots.
“We want the public to be informed, and accurately informed,” Mattingly continued, adding that “we do not want any backlash or violence in this community because people have been misinformed.”
In an interview with The Huffington Post on Wednesday, Mattingly said that some in his community were upset by his remarks but that he didn’t intend to offend anyone.
“I don’t want what has happened in these other communities to happen here. I don’t have a magic eight ball to predict the future, I just don’t want that to happen,” he told The Huffington Post. “Some people took that comment as being racist, and I had no intention of that coming across that way and I’m sorry if that comment bothered some people.”