GOP rival slams sheriff: Natasha McKenna ‘died a needless and preventable death’ in jail
A Republican candidate for Fairfax County Sheriff is slamming his Democratic opponent over the Tasering death of a black schizophrenic woman in her jail earlier this year, WAMU is reporting.
According to Bryan Wolfe, who is currently running for sheriff of the Virginia county, the death of 37-year-old Natasha McKenna might have been averted if current sheriff Stacey Kincaid had listened to him when he called for more mental health training two years ago when he ran against her.
The Republican candidate is currently running ads showing him holding a picture of McKenna that reads: “On January 26th Natasha McKenna, a petite Fairfax woman and mother, called local police for help…she died a needless and preventable death at the hands of Sheriff Kincaid’s County Sheriff’s Office.”
Video released earlier this month showed McKenna being shocked multiple times with Tasers after telling officers, “You promised me you wouldn’t kill me. I didn’t do anything.”
During his 2013 run against Kincaid, Wolfe made his Crisis Intervention Team training proposal dealing with the mentally ill the centerpiece of his campaign.
“It’s something everybody else in law enforcement believes in,” Wolfe said during a 2013 debate. “I don’t know why the Fairfax County Sheriff is so opposed to it.”
Kincaid dismissed Wolfe’s proposal as unnecessary.
“The CIT model that my opponent speaks of is maybe something more for the police officers who work on the street in an uncontrolled environment,” she said at the time. “We are in a controlled environment. We have people around all the time.”
Wolfe has been hammering Kincaid on the campaign trail, using McKenna’s death as an example of why she should be booted from office. Kincaid defended her tenure saying, “It’s easy for somebody who is out of touch and doesn’t understand the sheriff’s office to make that statement.”
“Yes we had a tragedy,” added the sheriff. “This one tragedy will not define who we are and the work that we do.”
Prosecutors decided earlier this month not to charge any of the deputies in the death of McKenna.