Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sheriff says he's not apologizing

Sheriff Jones
Yesterday evening the state’s paper tiger ACLU sent out a release, chastising our local Man with the Badge, claiming that any attempts by Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones to hold suspects based on their immigration status would be unconstitutional.

Course, that’s not what Jones said, but when you’re dealing with the state ACLU, which doesn’t know how to return a call, facts aren’t really important. (I’m an ACLU supporter by the way; just never been impressed with this one.)

Anyhoo, I’m not going to debate the merits of the county’s bid for the 287(G) program, mostly because both sides annoy me.

But, Jones was on the Hallerin Hilton Morning Show earlier today, and – since I typed up some notes in the event that he would say something insane (he didn’t) – I figured I might as well dump the notebook here on the ol’ blog.

By the way, all of this centers on the sheriff’s comments that he would “stack violators like cordwood in the Knox County Jail until the appropriate federal agency responds.” You can find those earlier remarks right smack here.

So, this morning, Hilton asked the Man with the Badge about the cordwood stuff. JJ said the critics of the grant are using them as “misdirection for the true intention of the facts.”

He called his own comments “East Tennessee colloquialism,” and said he’s made similar remarks in the past and “I’m not literally going to stack humans in the jail.”

He said the critics understood what he meant and that “it’s purely a misdirection to take people’s eye off the ball.”

Hilton noted that the News Sentinel’s editorial on Monday suggested that Jones should apologize for the remarks. He asked Jones if he would.

“Absolutely not,” the sheriff said.

He added that the grant would have placed an ICE agent at the jail, which would have made it easier for an illegal immigrant to make bail. He also said he’s “been dealing with jail overcrowding since 1979” and the grant would have helped alleviate the problem.

Hilton also talked briefly about Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and the rumors that he’s going to run for U.S. Senate (He’s not, folks, get over it). Hilton said if he did, would JJ be interested in his job.

The sheriff said he’s been in law enforcement for 33 years and that if he wins re-election, he’ll serve the term and then “politics will be out of the question for me.”

I’m betting this isn’t the last we’ve heard from either side.

In the meantime, you can hear the whole interview, right smack here.

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