Press Release 20-0620

JUNE 20, 2020




Walmart incident

In reference to the Wednesday evening incident at the Holton Walmart parking lot, I wanted to clarify a few of the comments that were completely untrue after having reviewed the complete video.


The Holton Walmart contacted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office reporting a theft.  The two deputies that arrived were riding in the same vehicle.  A Holton Police Officer happened on the scene who was in the area. The encounter with the couple was for 7 minutes and not for 20 minutes as stated.  One of the deputies asked the mother after she stated her child was sick, if she wanted to start the car, and she said “no.” This is contrary to the gentleman’s comment that the deputies would not let them start the car.  The deputies were able to quickly clear the couple of any wrongdoing.  The deputies were very professional and polite.  The gentleman after first being approached by deputies backed up approximately 30 feet and stood with his hands in the air for the most of the encounter except for the approximate 2 minutes where he recorded the incident on his phone.  The lady was cooperative and helped to resolve the situation and said they were staying in Onaga, not Holton as has been reported.


In no way were these individuals racially profiled by members of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.  That type of behavior is not tolerated in this office. These deputies simply responded to a call for service.  Every person is treated equally and fairly regardless of race or status.  It is very sad that there are those who purposely misrepresent the truth in order to cause further division. I have seen and am aware of the hundreds of threats, and slanderous statements that have been made about this incident. The Sheriff’s Office is investigating threats made towards Walmart employees.


These deputies did an excellent and outstanding job under the circumstances. Deputies and police officers conduct investigations each and every day and do so by evaluating the facts and evidence, not based upon a person’s race or ethnicity. It is sad to see that so many people are quick to make judgement with no facts.  I am very thankful to live and work in such a great community where behavior like this is uncommon. The Sheriff’s Office is appreciative of the expressions of support across the county, state and nation during this situation.