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Bartlett admits he made social media comment that some call racist

Aug 15, 2020 12:03 am
Aliya Schneider reports for Columbia-Greene Media that Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett is not denying he made a Facebook comment this week that some thought was racist, and others believed was faked. Under a video of someone else posted of a Black man urinating on the side of a Greene County road, Bartlett wrote, “Same over here brother. They do what they want, where they want. Time to go back where they came from.” Screen shots of the comment were shared all over social media this week. “I want a public apology and I want it now,” Jarin Ahmed, of Hudson, wrote on Facebook. “I am appalled by this comment and his audacity to make such a remark whatever the context may be. But in case it does matter — he made this comment in response to a black man urinating on the side of a road. My question to him and the entire department is: What gives you the authority (or who) to make racist comments like this?” Ahmed wrote. Bartlett claims he did not notice the color of the individual in the video, and that it is “absolutely untrue” that his comment was racist. “It had absolutely no meaning,” Bartlett said. “I’m not going to say something bad about somebody. That’s not me." The video was posted by Ken Ellsworth, of Palenville, a retired Hunter police officer. “As an elected official he should not be telling people to go back to where they came from period,” Trisha Arlene, of Ghent, wrote on Facebook. Others posted how the comment must be phony, some sort of Photoshopped image. Others are upset about Bartlett for another case in the local headlines recently. On Aug. 8 35 people assembled in Kinderhook Village Square calling for Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett to resign because of the investigation into the alleged assault of Harold Handy over the July 4th weekend at the home of local business owner Alex Rosenstrach and his wife, Deputy Sheriff Kelly Briscoe Rosenstrach. Bartlett has said that no other police were at the party where the beating occurred, though unconfirmed reports indicated otherwise. State police assumed control of the investigation this week at the request of Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka. The district attorney’s office requested that state police handle the investigation given “the totality of the circumstances,” Czajka said. If an arrest is made, the Columbia County District Attorney's Office would prosecute; the state attorney general’s office declined to take the case. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.
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