Canadian County Sheriff Chris West visited the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC Wednesday, January 6 in support of President Donald Trump.
That day, there was a riot at the Nation’s Capital that resulted in the deaths of five people.
Sheriff West said he was not present at the scene of the violence.
Accusations, originating on Twitter, alleged that Sheriff West might have been involved in the riot, but there are no confirmed reports or evidence suggesting that is true.
To clear the air, the sheriff held a press conference Friday in El Reno at the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office.
“I was not a part of a riot,” the sheriff said. “I was there as a patriotic American. I want the citizens of Canadian County to know that that’s not their sheriff. Their sheriff is a God-fearing, patriotic American.”
West said there are people on social media platforms trying to implicate him.
A Twitter account posing as the sheriff made inflammatory remarks around the time of the violence. The sheriff said it was not his Twitter account, and situations like this are the reason why he no longer has one at all.
“That’s not my Twitter account,” the sheriff said Friday. “I did have a Twitter account, and a Facebook page, but I deleted them both because of this kind of stuff.”
During the press conference Friday, West described the riot as “egregious”, “horrible”, and said, “I vehemently rebuke it. That is sacred ground as far as I’m concerned. These are heinous criminals that broke into our Nation’s Capital and desecrated that sacred ground.“
West said he felt it was important to hold a press conference, “because there are people saying things about me that are erroneous.”
Sheriff West not only accounted for his trip to DC, and the allegations against him, but also fielded questions from the multiple news organizations there.
“I don’t know when they got violent,” West said of the rioters. “I believe, but I don’t know, because I’m not investigating, when the violence happened, I believe we were down at Liberty Square, and may have been on our way to the Capitol. I believe all that stuff was going on before we ever left Liberty Square, or before we made it down there. I can’t talk about where I was when the violence was going, because I didn’t see the violence. I don’t know when it happened. There were hundreds of thousands of people, a sea of people.”
West shared his personal account from his visit to the Capitol, saying “I didn’t see that in Washington DC, personally. From my personal experience being there, it was a wonderful rally at Liberty Square. There were people from all over the country. I talked to immigrants that came from other countries that talked about their experiences traveling the world and living in oppressive countries, and always hearing bad things about the United States. And then they came to the United States, and that wasn’t their experience. They became citizens. They came to love this country, and they love Donald Trump, and that’s why they were there. It was a wonderful time. I wanted to go so I could have my own personal experience. I know that if it bleeds, it leads, and that if there’s violence, that overshadows the good stories.”
Sheriff West said he stands for a First Amendment for everybody, even though it is being weaponized against him.
“As far as the people who are slandering me, they have First Amendment rights,” West said. “The person who is slandering me is a citizen of this county, but I’m not going to name them, because I’ve taken an oath. If there was a call right now, and that person was in harm’s way, I would bleed for that person today, right now.”
West said his personal politics do not infect his professionalism.
“I would never let any partisan politics interfere in my obligated duties to the public,” the sheriff said. “Regardless of what happens in Washington DC, and in the White House, we’re going to continue to be good, patriotic Americans. This is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.”
West said he believes the accusations leveled against him are politically motivated, due to his outspoken support for President Donald Trump throughout the recent campaign.
“It’s very offensive that someone would say that,” West said of the allegations. “It’s based on political motivations. There are people that certainly don’t like me. They don’t like my politics. They didn’t like me being involved in the Drive for 45, in support of Donald Trump this summer. They don’t like me, as the sheriff, saying that I supported Donald Trump.”
A Marine Corps veteran, Sheriff West committed over 28 years to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol before becoming Sheriff of Canadian County.
News 9 posted the 26-minute interview in its entirety on their Twitter page Friday.