A sheriff’s deputy in Texas took to social media to vent about hypocrites who attack cops as racist, yet call them for help when they run into trouble. He is now paying the price for his statements.
Deputy Keon Mack served Henderson County, southeast of Dallas, for nearly six years. And he had gotten sick of the treatment he and other law enforcement had received in the area. So he posted a video on his Instagram account.
In the video, which often features harsh language, Mack relays his experiences answering calls from unappreciative citizens. “I’m gonna go get this 12-hour shift man, but uh, real tough man – everybody wanna say ‘f–k the police,’ man. Say – f–k you!” he says in the video. “Sh–t, every time Pookie Earl hit the g—–n wet stick and he come in the house trippin on a [unintelligible] you wanna call me… say f–k me, no f–k you man, sh-t. I ain’t got time to be fighting his naked a–,” he says. The “wet stick” he mentions refers to weed that has been soaked in something like heroin or PCP, causing the user to act wild and often with super-human like strength.
In the video, Mack seems to hope the video will go viral and make him famous, and give him a chance to leave the department before something bad happens to him.
“Say man, it’s tough out here though man. I can’t do this sh-t forever – they’re gonna kill me out here man. Y’all like, comment, share my videos. Let me get viral so I can put my two week notice in,” he said.
He got the attention, but not the kind he wanted. While his video did go viral and he received lots of support, his bosses at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department didn’t care for his language and demeanor while in uniform.
Just days after posting the video, he was fired for violating department policy while on the job and in uniform.
Mack, 30, said he made the video because he wanted to make the point to people that he’s the same person whether he’s working or not.
“I just wanted to let people know – you know, everybody that hates the police – especially the black community who looks at us like we’re siding with the oppressors. My whole point of the video was ‘look I’m a normal guy. Even though you guys swear you hate us, you still call us – even in the craziest situations. Don’t hate us – we’re here for you. I’m a normal guy and I’m here for you on a daily basis,” Mack explained to Blue Lives Matter in a telephone interview.
Mack, who has worked for the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office in both a detention and patrol capacity for almost six years, recorded his rant while he was in full uniform, sitting in his patrol vehicle, at the beginning of a long shift.
Responses to the video were widely varied, with many in law enforcement saying that while it was funny, it was “conduct unbecoming” a law enforcement officer.
Unfortunately for Mack, Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse agreed.
Former-Deputy Mack told Blue Lives Matter that he posted the video rant at the beginning of his shift, and went home and went to bed afterwards.
“I had just posted it to my friends that followed me. I didn’t know it would have four million views when I woke up. I was like holy moly!” he said. However, his initial post also tagged a number of viral video sites and famous people including WorldStar and Snoop Dog.
Here is Mack’s video that he posted to Instagram. Be warned – the language is not safe for work.
Mack obviously wanted the publicity – tagging other accounts like Worldstar and Snoop Dogg – but his language and obvious frustration did not go over well with his bosses.
Just as the video was going viral, things went south, according to Blue Lives Matter.
And then the sheriff’s department called.
“I woke up and my phone was blowing up, then shortly thereafter I get a phone call from the second in command at [the department] telling me some things had transpired, and ‘you better go ahead and bring your gear in,’” Mack chuckled as he recalled the conversation.
He said he knew he had taken a huge risk when he filmed the rant. He’d already been considering leaving the sheriff’s office, and had discussed giving his two weeks’ notice with his supervisor and the sheriff before he made the video.
Mack said nobody gave him an actual reason when they terminated him. But he wasn’t complaining and said it’s an at-will department and he knew he could be terminated at any time if the sheriff wanted to do so.
Sheriff Hillhouse told Blue Lives Matter that Mack’s video had violated a number of department policies.
He seemed disappointed in Mack’s judgement and said he didn’t see it coming.
“I think a lot of Deputy Mack and I always have. It caught me off guard,” Sheriff Hillhouse told Blue Lives Matter. “And you know that’s just not how I want our deputies representing me. So we had to address it.”
The sheriff said he didn’t have any grudges against the former deputy, and that he wouldn’t stand in his way should he apply to another police agency at some point in the future. He said he wouldn’t hire him back in Henderson County though.
“In this county, we work well together with our citizens. They take care of us. Just because you have one call with a bad response to a situation, that’s not the time to go off. We need to remember the folks we’re out here doing the job for every day. That’s who we’re working for,” Sheriff Hillhouse said.
He said he didn’t want the rant of a frustrated deputy to undo all of the positive progress that they’re making in the community.
“People were upset. That’s a direct reflection of me. And how they conduct their business in their personal and professional lives reflects on me. I try to remind them of that all the time,” the sheriff said.
“We chose this career and unfortunately, the citizens look at us differently. I think we are held to a higher standard. I just want to make sure the people that work for me are doing what they’re supposed to be doing in representing the sheriff’s office,” he said.
Sheriff Hillhouse said he felt the video was disrespectful to him as the sheriff, and to the community at large.
Mack has not yet said what his next step will be.