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UPDATED: Sheriff says 'there's more to the story' of viral video on interaction with woman

The Brillion News

UPDATE Posted on April 30, 2020 at 3:45 p.m.

CHILTON - A video posted on Facebook by a rural Calumet County woman shows two Calumet County sheriff's deputies at her home questioning her and telling her to obey the SaferAtHome order issued by Governor Tony Evers by keeping her daughter at home.

The sheriff's department, though, said there is more to the story.

"A recent video circulating on the internet involving two of our deputies has resulted in numerous calls, comments and questions from the public. We want to further clarify our approach and response to this situation and others county-wide as it pertains to the Governor’s Safer at Home order," said Calumet County Sheriff Mark Wiegert in a statement released on April 30. "Please note that this situation did not originate nor continue as a response to a violation of the Safer at Home order. Our deputies are out there to help educate, not arrest, law abiding citizens."

Wiegert said that his agency is not out to arrest people for violations of the governor's order.

"To date, we have issued zero citations, made zero arrests, and have not made any referrals to the District Attorney’s Office relating to the Safer at Home order," the sheriff said. "Most people are adhering to the Safer at Home order, and we have received very few complaints from the public."

The sheirff's department posted a message on its Facebook page indicating that the video taken by the woman recorded only one of a series of contacts deputies had with her.

The video posted by the woman shows the deputies - one male, one female - talking with the woman about her daughter being at a neighbor's home.

"What the video does not show you is that this is the fifth contact we’ve had with this female within the recent weeks," the sheriff's department said in its Facebook statement. "It’s impossible to report everything we do on a daily basis or to reply to every comment or video made about us on social media. We are, however, a transparent agency and will always be open to sharing the facts." The sheriff's department said the rest of the story looks like this:

  • The woman had called the sheriff's department twice on one day to report her son as a runaway. The boy was found at a neighbor's home.

  • The woman herself was stopped for speeding, thus the third contact with deputies.

  • Deputies went to the neighbor's home looking for another runaway child and found the woman's young daughter there, thus the fourth contact.

  • Deputies responded to a disturbance at the neighbor's home and found the woman's daughter there again. The woman showed up and interfered with the deputies handling the disturbance call; thus the fifth contact.

The sheriff's department said it was following that incident that the two deputies went to the woman's house and she took video on their contact with her, which she posted on Facebook.

"In summary, the same neighboring mobile home that this female wanted us to retrieve her son from on two separate occasions was the same mobile home she was allowing her daughter to be at," the sheriff's department statement said. "Most people are adhering to the Safer at Home order, and we have received very few complaints from the public. Our deputies are out there to help educate, not arrest, law abiding citizens."

Sheriff Wiegert said his officers have a tough job to do.

"Our deputies wear many hats on a daily basis such as being an investigator, enforcer, peace maker, counselor, and even parent, to name a few. Our deputies have a tough job and sometimes they have to wear many hats during the same call," he said. "The referenced situation is just one example. 'Thank You' to the citizens of Calumet County for your support of both me and our deputies."


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