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Awkward! 

What's more awkward than being SLO County Distirct Attorney Dan Dow and getting dismissed from an obviously political case because you were too obvious about your politics?

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Being SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson in an extremely uncomfortable attempt at a public relations video, saying, "I'm white, and I'm American, and you are safe with us," while standing in Avila Beach. The video, which the SLO County Sheriff's Office posted to its Facebook feed, is making the rounds. People who love Parkinson are praising it, and those who can't stand the guy are making fun of it.

"Next level copaganda," commented Susan Ladrie Mackey. Touché, Susan. "Hello I'm Latina, and this is cringy AF," Carla Michaelson commented. Yep. Is there any way to unsee what we've just seen?

"Good to see that Avila is safe, and that the sheriff officers don't know how to interact like humans," Michael Foote said.

It's so bad. I'm definitely making fun of it.

It's like one of those "let's talk about sexual harassment in the workplace" videos from the '90s. Poorly scripted and a little weird. If I didn't know better, I would think it was a spoof: Parkinson haltingly using sign language, a fist bump between a white deputy and a Black man on the sidewalk, deputies talking to "randoms" and attempting to play with little kids on a slide, no masks, and a not-so-solid attempt at social distancing.

"I'm [insert nationality/race], and I'm American, and you are safe with me," over and over and over again.

As Dave Coker commented: "This is about half a pair of short shorts away from being a Reno 911 skit." While others were trying to get Trevor Noah or Saturday Night Live to pay attention. Who knows, maybe SLO County could be famous again (for all the wrong reasons)!

Seriously, though, who signed off on this? I can't believe our tax dollars helped pay for this little piece of uncomfortable history. But, on the bright side, between this riveting video and Dow getting kicked off the Tianna Arata case, at least everyone really knows how tone-deaf the elected leaders of local law enforcement are!

Dow, for his part, has learned absolutely nothing from the experience of a judge disqualifying him from the case he's obviously used and is still using as political propaganda.

"There is absolutely no conflict in this case. To the contrary," he posted on Facebook. "While I have been personally attacked on many occasions since the arrests in these cases, I have continued to conduct my duty in a manner that is above reproach without bending to popular opinion and public pressure."

He's saying he's above fault. He's blameless. He hasn't acted in a manner unbecoming of his office. Although, Judge Matthew Guerrero thought differently.

The judge found that one email in particular established a clear conflict of interest. Shortly after Dow filed charges against Arata for a July protest that entered Highway 101, Dow's wife sent out an email requesting campaign donations. It said that Dow was "leading the fight" against the "wacky defund the police" movement.

Above reproach, huh? Danny boy, you're too funny!

I guess the "popular opinion" and "public pressure" you're not bending to is the movement for social justice. The opinion and pressure you bend to comes from the God Squad of Dow Disciples who support you at every turn! They are praying for his success and stand by him as a great example of Christian faith!

"Proud to have you as our leader! Continue to spread His light!!" Susan Needleman responded to his post. Umm, hey, Susan? I think Dan's job is actually to uphold the laws created by man.

"We know what's going on here," Dave Lowden stated. Really? What's going on here, Dave? Did Dow get spanked by the justice system for not being above reproach or is it a liberal conspiracy brought to us by George Soros and Bill Gates?

"Wow, George Soros must be very proud of his minions!" Chuck Clark wrote. "Now, to decide which state to move to as it appears California is finally a gonner (sic)." Oh, I guess it's good ol' Soros.

Umm, hey, Chuck? Might I suggest any other state or even country will do for you. I'll come over, help you pack if you need! See? Don't ever say a liberal never did nothing for you! I've got contact info for Soros and Gates, too. I'm sure they'll send cash.

You know who else is awash in wacky conspiracy? Paso Robles City Councilmember John Hamon. During the Dec. 15 council meeting, Hamon pooh-poohed Paso Fire Chief Jonathon Stornetta, who was explaining that his department and others in the county have been hard hit by COVID-19.

"I have to tell you, Jonathan, I don't really trust the numbers that I'm seeing truly, but it's hard to know. It's hard to put faith in anything right now, government related, with respect to this COVID," Hamon said.

"I can tell you that we are seeing it in our staff and we're losing staff. So we're begging people, please believe the numbers. We're having a hard time staffing the fire engines," Stornetta replied.

Umm, hey, John Hamon? Maybe now's a good time to start believing in numbers and get off the internet. Δ

The Shredder is awkward all the time. Send comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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