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Letters, Aug. 14

Jail incident unacceptable

I am writing to express my anger about the video and accompanying news stories recently released about the arrest and incarceration of Tony Sancho, who appeared at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival last season.

To say that the video of his treatment at the Jackson County Jail is disturbing would be a gross understatement. He was confined in a cell by himself yet he was still handcuffed — why? And how is it that the three deputies who attacked him in his cell, who surely knew they were being filmed, still felt just fine about going ahead with the attack?

The website for the Sheriff’s Office says this: “You can be proud of the services you receive from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. We are working hard every day to provide the most competent, courteous and effective law enforcement services in the country.” If this is what they call competent, courteous and effective, I’d hate to see what the opposite would be!

The fact that Sancho actually lost consciousness for a period of time and could have been killed seems to have escaped notice. I know he has filed a lawsuit and the case is pending at the moment, but I would hope there will also be a more extensive review of this whole incident by an impartial investigative body. This kind of assault perpetrated by those hired to protect us is absolutely unacceptable and should be remedied as quickly as possible.

The sheriff and the three deputies involved should have to answer for their actions or — in the sheriff’s case — the inaction that led to a culture permissive of this egregious behavior.

Carole Florian


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