(Update) Incident at Chevron Station in Bishop involving Inyo County Sheriff deputies sparks community outrage

Excerpt from video taken by bystanders during Chevron incident

Dogs are dogs, but sometimes dogs are seen as “heroes”; at other times they are seen as a “threat.” And sometimes police officers are seen as “heroes” …and sometimes in today’s environment, they are also seen as a “threat” to some people, especially to many “of color.” An incident on Saturday night at the Chevron Gas Station at the north end of Bishop off US Highway 395 is a case in point. It has sparked strong opinions on local social media with charges of police abuse, animal cruelty, and racism…and in a few instances, strong support for the police.

Barlow is hospitalized and on life-support according to reports

 

32-year-old George Barlow III is a local Native-American. (Photo from GoFundMe campaign)

A dog, a pit bull breed, was shot dead by one of the two arresting Inyo County Sheriff deputies while they were attempting to take 32-year-old George Barlow III into custody. There seems to be some confusion as to the dogs ownership. Regardless of who owned the dog, deputies say Barlow charged them along with the pit bull with him after he was seen standing in the otherwise empty parking lot of the gas station.

At least two videos were taken of the incident by eyewitnesses and posted on local social media. You can hear bystanders shouting at officers to stop what they were doing to Barlow and for them to pull off a K9 police dog attacking him as he lay on the ground.

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A GoFundMe campaign has been started for the Barlow family  to help pay for expenses. As of 3:30 pm this afternoon of July 26, a total of $18,630 has been raised.

Scene after the dog was killed and Barlow seemingly still resisting arrest.

Police seemingly beating a man senseless is never a good look and the videos posted on local social media do little to dispel that view. The killing of the dog fueled additional outrage. At last report, Barlow is in very serious condition at the hospital.

The deputies, says the Sheriff’s Office press release, were dispatched on a call about a domestic violence restraining order violation on the Bishop Reservation that had nothing at all to do with Barlow. “While looking in the area” they found nothing on the original call and happened upon Barlow with a dog standing in the empty parking lot of the closed gas station. (For the Sheriff’s perspective on what happened, please read the posted press release on our website.) Eyewitness reports differ from those in the official press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Jeff Hollowell and Public Relations Officer for the Inyo County Sheriff Office, Carma Roper, responded promptly to Sierra Wave’s inquiry for a statement when called earlier in the day about the incident. They followed up by that evening with a press release.

Sierra Wave is in the process of contacting witnesses for comments and for permissions to use their names and the videos taken by them. Meantime, the videos of the incident caught on camera can be seen posted on local social media. The videos have garnered hundreds of comments, mostly negative, even hostile towards the deputies. We are working on posting a direct link to the videos.

There will be an investigation and also involvement by the District Attorney’s Office. Sierra Wave will attempt to keep you apprised of developments in the case.

If anyone has any information on this incident, please call the Sheriff’s Office.

Needless to say, Sierra Wave would also like to hear from you as well.

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Eastside Local
Eastside Local
5 days ago

Was this “community outrage” before or after he tried to burn down his family’s home on Barlow with 5 people in it that he’s now in jail for? Or after the DAs report that the “use of force” was justified and George Barlow was on meth? Asking for a friend.

Brian Krecik
Brian Krecik
1 month ago

Cops need to stop escalating and learn how to deescalate. There was a moment there when George took off his sweater that the officer could have used words to calm George down rather than threaten them with violence – the same violence that Native Americans have suffered under the hands of white people in and out of uniform for more than 400 years.

What happened is inexcusable. Yet another person of color abused at the hands of police.

Brice Manuel
Brice Manuel
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Krecik

I agree with you. LEOs used to be trained to handle situations and deescalate a situation and only use force as a last resort. It would appear that psychological assessments are rarely done during the hiring process of LEOs nowadays, and proper training seems almost nonexistent in the smaller departments.

I firmly believe the good LEOs far outweigh the bad LEOs and I am a big supporter and respecter of LEOs, but over the past 30 years the number of LEOs crossing the line is alarming.

Brice Manuel
Brice Manuel
1 month ago

I hope this does not sound heartless, but I am just glad that George is still alive. My thoughts and prayers are with George and his family and I hope George makes a full recovery.

George’s dog’s breed should not be a point of contention, as the dog clearly only did what a dog of any breed would do when it see’s its master being viciously attacked. The dog did NOT attack the deputies before they attacked George (and kept attacking George when he was down).

I find it disgusting that Tribes are forced to be under the jurisdiction of authorities who see them as vermin. Based on this video, the Inyo County Sheriff and his deputies have zero respect for the citizens they are supposed to be working for.

The ACLU (on the behalf of George) needs to go after the Inyo County Sheriff and the deputies who responded and not rest until they are sitting in federal prison for violating George’s civil rights. George did NOTHING wrong.

The deputies were mad because the incident they were responding to was already over and done with and their trip and time were wasted. George was simply somebody for them to take their frustrations out on.

The thin blue line is just that — THIN. Once an officer crosses the line like this, he is no different than the thug beating and robbing your grandmother.

Mike YY
Mike YY
1 month ago

Abhorrent. poor George

Lori
Lori
1 month ago

To be “fully transparent” as they claim they want to be, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department needs to release photographs of the deputies injuries. I’m curious to see these “bite marks”. I’m not making light of the pit bull being a threat to the officers but was it an imminent threat to their lives? I’m not even going to take exception to the dog being shot, but I do, in FULL TRANSPARENCY” want to see the deputies injuries. Full transparency DEMANDS it.

Kimberly
Kimberly
1 month ago

I was once approached by a police officer that wanted to look inside my house for a suspect, I was not the suspect. I was compliant, yet I had forgotten about my Rottweiler in the house. As I opened the door to let him in, I remembered, and I immediately threw myself onto my dog, pinned her down, on the floor, and remained there as he looked around. I had nothing to hide and nothing to fear, except that my dog could mistakingly try to protect me, and get us both killed.

Man From Mono
Man From Mono
1 month ago
Reply to  Kimberly

Kimberly, brave men have died for you to have your Constitutional rights, especially our 1st, 2nd and 4th amendment rights. You dishonor their sacrifice by giving them up so easily.

You should have told them that you would cooperate as soon as they showed you a search warrant.

Kimberly
Kimberly
1 month ago
Reply to  Man From Mono

In this particular incident, I was the one who called law enforcement, due to being assaulted by this particular suspect. I could have easily become the problem, even though I was the victim.

Kimberly
Kimberly
1 month ago
Reply to  Kimberly

….my own incident, which had nothing to do with this bishop one. Though, I am interested as to what ever happened about the original call, in this bishop incident, that had gotten the police there in the first place, which seems vague on the original dispatch, and people standing by nearby with their phones to record from the very same apartments that apparently had the original altercation of domestic violence. What was someone trying to do?! This is a deeper rabbit hole perhaps.

Michael Goatcher
Michael Goatcher
1 month ago

I know George Barlow personally, haven’t seen him in 19 years, but it hurts my heart to see what has happened to him, and our country. I wish him a speedy recovery, and I hope the law punishes the two officers, not all officers are bad, Bishop didn’t need this type of attention, all my prayers go to the Barlow family.

Man From Mono
Man From Mono
1 month ago

In order have a fair and unbiased investigation of the incident, the investigation, should be done by the FBI Public Corruption Unit.

Robert String
Robert String
1 month ago

I had an incident Thursday at the Inyo Co building where a deputy cut me off pulling into the parking lot. He then exited his vehicle after I pulled behind him. He then accused me of driving too close to the right side of the road to turn into the lot. Then he turned on his camera and starting reading me the law. He said my turn signal didn’t work ( which it does ). Didn’t get his name but he is about 5 ft 5 and just as round.

M
M
1 month ago

First of all Joann you seem ignorant and racist with your comments. So you know George personally and the family? I don’t see any reason for the justification of use of force. Why put blame on the Tribe? Individuals that are in jail is their own fault they are adults. You shouldn’t make comments when you know nothing about the individuals. As fas as federal grant money, that’s the least the government can do for the Natives this was once THEIR land!

Lyle
Lyle
1 month ago

For small town law enforcement agencies, both Inyo County Sheriff and Bishop PD sure seem pretty dysfunctional. If it’s not Inyo County Sheriffs office with the various issues over the years, it’s Bishop PD complaining about their Chiefs.

Get your act together guys. Live up to that “honor and integrity” motto you’re supposed to be living by. Killing a locals dog and hospitalizing him after you let your K9 maul the guy? And he wasn’t even the person you were looking for?

It’s hard to support law enforcement in this area when this crap happens. We depend on you to keep our beautiful Eastern Sierra communities safe and you all are creating more drama and issues than a Kardashian reality show.

Jane McDonald
Jane McDonald
1 month ago

I hope Sierra Wave will please post the videos taken by witnesses. The public has a right to see them.

John
John
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles James

Butthurt group is private, and Jane tendency to ban members arbitrarily. Please find a public link.

Jim hansen
Jim hansen
1 month ago
Reply to  Charles James

Not everyone has a Facebook account to see these videos.

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane McDonald

A partial video of an incident in the dark with a deadly animal that appears to have been fueled by psychotic behavior might not be the firmest ground for fire and pitchforks. I admit that righteous rage is more gratifying than temperance in judgment until all parties have had their say and all the facts come out, but let’s try something new.

FREEDOM
FREEDOM
1 month ago

Don’t Bother Writing the Bishop City Council , That’s like talking to the Head of the Snake .

Deborah Murphy
Deborah Murphy
1 month ago
Reply to  FREEDOM

Wasn’t Bishop Police Dept., was Inyo County Sheriff’s.

Owens BS
Owens BS
1 month ago

Sounds like the deputies were looking for trouble. How come they didn’t go bother any of other homeless people or sleeping in cars? The inequity of the crimes committed by the deputies is appalling. Bishop and Inyo, you should be furious!! The guy clearly has some mental health issues and instead of seeking the proper way to handle the situation, the deputies again went looking for trouble. Their actions escalated the situation. We have so many people displaced, living on the street or out of vehicles, yet they chose to cause an incident with this gentlemen who clearly has mental health issues. Bishop citizens, I ask that you write you council people, your mayor and your police chief. The inequity in policing and enforcing by the Inyo sheriff deputies requires action. These deputies should be fired for what they did to this man. It is completely unacceptable in today’s times to treat anyone like this.

civics teacher
civics teacher
1 month ago
Reply to  Owens BS

You all need to take a civics class. The Sheriffs department doesn’t answer to the council, the mayor, or the police chief: they answer to the Sheriff, Hollowwell, an elected official. Let’s get him recalled and replace him! Likewise, the person who is doing the “investigation” is the district attorny, Hardy, another elected official. Call his office (760.878.0282) and tell him to do the right thing. Those are the two people with the most power to deal with this situation, and they are supposed to answer to US, the voters!