Sheriff’s Office says it had nothing to do with social media post joking about mental illness

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The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office wants to make clear its chief of patrol did not make a statement attributed to him on a social media post, and the department had nothing to do with it. The post is being interpreted as a joke about a mental illness and police use of force.

The post was part of a PowerPoint demonstration created by instructor Mike Battis, who had provided free training for deputies. The slide in question is now being described by the instructor as a “poor attempt at humor.”

It was shared on Facebook by, among others, the Tyler for Sheriff page, the campaign page for Deputy Jennifer Tyler, who is running against incumbent Sheriff Brian Burnett.

The text in the slide involves “excited delirium” and includes a picture of the chief of patrol and wording describing people with excited delirium as having “crazy-retard strength,” who “want their a– kicked.”

Battis, said he knows the chief of patrol personally and professionally and was trying to tease him.

“During a comprehensive class, I covered the topic of Excited Delirium. I had a slide with the clinical definition on it, and then I made a poorly worded attempt at humor for a “real world definition.” That slide was made out of poor taste, and is not consistent with my thoughts on the matter or my personal beliefs,” Battis said in a written apology, noting that the slide has been removed.

The Sheriff’s Office first became aware of the slide early Tuesday afternoon and quickly issued a press release distancing itself from the social media post.

“The text in the PowerPoint slide is not a quote from the pictured Administrator, any Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Command Staff member, or any other Chelan County Sheriff’s Office employee.  The Sheriff’s Office is committed to deal with mental health and use of force issues in a professional manner,” the department said.