KSP: Trooper in video was de-escalating, caregivers were involved with teen

HAZARD, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky State Police has offered an explanation for its role in a video showing two White men sitting on and confining a young Black man who is struggling and seeking help.

Given social conditions nationwide in the last 18 months, the video has attracted attention on the Internet and social media because the men, including the state trooper, are White. Furthermore, the video occurred in Hazard, Ky., which the person who posted the video and some others have suggested has a racist history.

At the same time, a number of others have noted the video is only a partial clip of what appears to be a larger scene and may not show all the pertinent details. The identity of the caregivers and the young man is unclear.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr. issued the following statement about the incident:

“On June 21, a KSP Trooper responded to assist with a situation in a parking lot in Hazard. The Trooper spoke with the individual’s caregivers and took appropriate action to de-escalate the situation by utilizing Crisis Intervention Training, a program developed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, that allowed the caregivers to use their training to prevent the individual from harming himself or others. EMS responded to the scene and transported the individual to the hospital where he was treated and released.”

According to the video, the incident happened in the McDonald’s parking lot in Harlan.

The trooper has been identified as Ronnie Long, a veteran of the agency but Burnett’s office would not confirm his identity. His office also did not offer additional questions about the young man who is shown pinned down, if both men were caregivers, and the nature of the technique they were using.

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