As you’ve probably heard, a Saratoga County sheriff’s deputy has now resigned and faces charges in the Town of Halfmoon, after a viral YouTube video showed him apparently going ape on a couple of men last week. WNYT reported the resignation and the charges – official misconduct and harassment – today.
If Sergeant Shawn Glans is in fact the deputy in the video, and if he really did and said the things depicted in the video, it’s an excellent thing that he’s gone.
That’s just one small bright spot, though, in a bleak landscape. The revelations of this weekend tell us some very discouraging things.
First of all, as noted in a press release issued by the Saratoga County Sheriff over the weekend, Glans was disciplined because of “a video posted online which appeared to show an inappropriate interaction [with] a civilian during a roadside interview. ” In other words, the sheriff is saying he found out what his own deputy was up to from YouTube. Not from the deputy himself or the two other deputies who, according to WNYT, witnessed his behavior. Those other deputies haven’t resigned, as far as we know.
Furthermore, the video and the comments Glans has made since its release raise concerns about the way the Sheriff’s Department may have been doing things during the many years this man was a member. In the video, the deputy uses obscene, abusive, and threatening language in addressing two men in a parking lot. He does something to one of them out of camera shot that sounds a lot like a slap. And why? What had happened to warrant – even in the deputy’s mind – this kind of behavior? Well, it looks like one of the men politely insisted that the officer observe the constitution – in simple terms, the man refused to consent to a search of his vehicle.