Last summer, after we witnessed the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, people across the world peacefully called for change. The Black Lives Matter movement, founded in 2013, with a “mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes,” led many of those protests. Here in Hancock County, Black Lives Matter supporters were called terrorists by our highest-ranking county law enforcement officer — Sheriff Scott Kane. In addition to this ignorant, racially motivated mistruth, Scott Kane retaliated against Healthy Acadia, a local community health program, when it spoke in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Scott Kane then punished vulnerable members of our community in the county jail by denying them counseling services provided for free by Healthy Acadia. He has never apologized for his racist statement or his actions and has faced no accountability. We can do better than Scott Kane. Elected officials work for us and are accountable to us. We must make sure that our commissioners give no new powers or funds to Kane and that we send him into early retirement the next time his name is on the ballot. Hancock County needs a sheriff who is thoughtful, empathetic and respectful to all of Hancock County’s peoples.