From retweeting Andy Ngo to a steady stream of anti-masker chatter
Deputy Chief Ken Kuebler wants everyone to know that he won't hold back on Twitter in the wake of a Monday report in the Dispatch that his tweets are the subject of a city investigation.
"I’ve said it many times before and I’m not going to be silent. You can investigate me. Criticize me. Disagree with me. Sanction me. Whatever. I’m not sacrificing my principles," he wrote in a tweet Monday night, following a day he spent on the platform quoting Orwell ("Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen") and jabbing at the reported $50,000 figure law firm BakerHostetler could be paid to conduct investigations into potential violations of the Division of Police’s rules on social-media posts.
The Dispatch report noted that the investigation would not cost $50,000, however, quoting an email from Deputy Public Safety Director George Speaks to BakerHostetler that read, "While the investigation of Deputy Chief Kuebler will not cost $50,000, I have nevertheless made the contract payable up to that amount on the chance that the Department may need additional investigations in the near future."
But Kuebler is not one to let facts get in the way of a good narrative, as he has demonstrated time and again on Twitter. Here are just a small selection of the public servant's tweets that could raise eyebrows.
"The smoldering ruins of our once great city."
In terms of creating a false narrative, you don't have to look any further than protests that have been taking place in the city since late May, and which have been overwhelmingly peaceful. Yes, on the first weekend, in particular, some individuals did engage in criminal acts, smashing windows Downtown and along High Street. Some stores were even looted. But to post multiple tweets suggesting the city is "being utterly destroyed" and "burned to the ground by criminals" is to deny reality.
Our cities are being burned to the ground by criminals and@GovMikeDeWine is trying to figure out when it’s safe to open our zoos. You can’t make this stuff up.https://t.co/r44Wem7xAF— Ken Kuebler (@kenkeebs)June 2, 2020
Our cities have been utterly destroyed by criminals and our mayors are blaming the police for the destruction.@GovMikeDeWine chooses politicians over the police.https://t.co/qYW3dS5Lba— Ken Kuebler (@kenkeebs)June 2, 2020
If you weren’t able to watch tonight’s@ColumbusCouncil meeting, I’ll sum it up for you. The millions of dollars of damage you see to businesses of Columbus, the destruction you see everywhere and the smoldering ruins of our once great city are the fault of@ColumbusPolice.— Ken Kuebler (@kenkeebs)June 1, 2020
"Prediction. More children will die from 'remote learning' than COVID."
Right-wing politicians have been making failed predictions about COVID-19 since it reached our shores, with President Donald Trump saying in February the U.S. case count would "soon be near zero," and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis taking a premature victory lap when the state reported fewer coronavirus cases prior to a devastating early summer spike. And yet here is an officer of the law suggesting that opening schools might be safer than not, which flies in the face of medical advice (and also ignores the fact that children are not the only people who will occupy these school buildings).
Prediction. More Ohio children will die “remote learning” than would have ever died from COVID. School leaders and politicians will bear responsibility for the death of every child during school hours from homicide, car accidents, overdoses, neglect etc.— Ken Kuebler (@kenkeebs)August 2, 2020
The time he retweeted Andy Ngo.
It's undoubtedly eyebrow-raising for a public employee to share any posts from a propagandist prone to making dubious claims, palling around with far-right hate groups and partaking in smear campaigns that have led to actual journalists getting death threats.
The violence is real against law enforcement. Thank you to the officers that go to work everyday knowing the violence they face.#BackTheBluehttps://t.co/OSYks2EitQ— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP)August 2, 2020
"The story is a complete fabrication."
Kuebler has repeatedly revisited one protest scene in which it was initially alleged that police has taken an amputee's prosthetic legs, a charge CPD refuted, demanding that people who shared the initial story correct themselves. Meanwhile, a heavily circulated CPD tweet about a bus of potentially violent, armed-to-the-teeth protesters stands uncorrected or updated weeks after being debunked. These kinds of corrections should go both ways, no?
Allow me to save everyone the suspense. The story is a complete fabrication. Everyone who shared it and every politician today who based their opinions of@ColumbusPolice based on the story were duped into repeating an incontrovertible lie.https://t.co/bLUkcvOAfE— Ken Kuebler (@kenkeebs)June 23, 2020
This bus was stopped yesterday at Broad St. & 3rd due for obstruction of traffic. There was a suspicion of supplying riot equipment to rioters.
Detectives followed up w/a vehicle search today & found: bats, rocks, meat cleavers, axes, clubs & other projectiles.
"I'm not going to wear a mask."
An overwhelming majority of scientists have made it known that, absent still-undeveloped antibody treatments or a vaccine, universal masking is the best tool we have to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Not that Kuebler wants to hear any of this.
Counterargument - we need state legislators to ban mask mandates.https://t.co/cfLQYagFIy— Ken Kuebler (@kenkeebs)July 14, 2020
I’m not going to wear a mask.— Ken Kuebler (@kenkeebs)April 4, 2020
"This is gaslighting."
Kuebler's use of "gaslighting" is in reference to a tweet from Shannon Hardin in which the City Council president said that he was part of a peaceful protest prior to being hit with tear gas at 11 a.m. But Hardin was simply recounting events as they happened. The real gaslighting is in Kuebler's subsequent question ("Why aren't you downtown at 11:30 PM?") which sidesteps the reality of Hardin's statement and attempts to shift the narrative.
This is gaslighting. “At 11:00 AM this morning, I saw mostly peaceful protestors.”
Wow. Imagine that. At 11:00AM. Why aren’t you downtown at 11:30 PM? I wonder if things are different then?
Put on gas mask. Join the officers on the line. You’llhttps://t.co/g2bM8uDGGZ
"Only two of the people in this video go to work everyday to help people they've never met before."
Kuebler consistently rails against the phrase ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards) for being blindly dismissive of an entire block of people, and yet he'll turn around and cast similar aspersions on protesters, such as in this tweet where he suggests that only the police officers shown in the video could possibly have jobs that contribute to the public good.
Only two of the people in this video go to work everyday to help people they’ve never met before, serve people they’ll never hear “thank you” from, and possibly lay down their lives for the innocent.https://t.co/55YannRRiI— Ken Kuebler (@kenkeebs)June 29, 2020
The police will protect and serve... as long as we have your unquestioned support.
This retweet is one of the more damning posts on Kuebler's feed, because it suggests that one can't criticize the police and then turn around and expect full protection under the law.
Can’t set out to defund the police, demonize the police, not support the police, call them all racists and not want the federal government to help them as they are being attacked and then accept them to protect you at your political convention.https://t.co/xWTEdc02wt— PARIS (@PARISDENNARD)July 28, 2020