Attempts to distance himself from an unscripted comment made in the aftermath of a police shooting last week, have proven difficult for Sheriff “Big Dog” Ramsey. The Sheriff, whose campaign for mayor has been marked by a series of gaffes, was confronted again this afternoon, this time by the mother of a four-year-old child shot in the back while eating ice cream.
“Go ahead!” she cried. “Let the world know how much you like to shoot people! Release your records! Let the world see for themselves!” Staffers were able to contain the incident by hurling epithets and chairs at the woman before emotions got too far out of hand. But the incident underscores the uphill battle Ramsey faces if he makes it to the general election.
The incident in question, which sparked a county-wide vigil and calls for the sheriff’s removal, was no different than any other police-related death this year (62 at last count). But it was inflamed by Ramsey himself who stated in a hastily-convened news conference over the child’s body ,“I like being able to shoot people.”
That comment, despite assurances from his staff that the quip referred to his love of photography, has cast the sheriff in a callous light and was quickly seized upon by his opponent, Nick Carey, who castigated the mayor for “incendiary rhetoric” while calling for the overthrow of France.
Yet despite it all, Ramsey remains upbeat about his chances in November.
“I stand by my record,” he said today. “Under this mayor we’ve seen the average classroom size in Flubug double in four years. As sheriff, I’ve vacated thirty seats myself. I’ve kept kids off the streets and in some cases made the hard decision to take them off the board completely. But the net result has been better education and safer streets. My opponent would bankrupt us with More Chairs and Bigger Schools. I believe we should return to our Core Flubugian values: if you’re old enough to read, you’re old enough to get a job!”