The Killing of Allen Kephart: How the Police Lost the Trust of a Law-and-Order Town
(REASON TV) On May 10, 43-year old Allen Kephart died after being tased multiple times by three San Bernardino, California sheriff’s deputies during a routine traffic stop.
Kephart, a quiet and well-liked member of the tight-knit mountain community around Lake Arrowhead, allegedly ran a stop sign and became “combative” during the stop.
But local residents say this claim is wildly out of character for Kephart, who had no police record and no history of aggressive behavior or even temper. Kephart’s death has galvanized the local community around a problem they say is getting worse: aggressive policing and the souring of relations between civilians and local law enforcement.
While an FBI review of Kephart’s death proceeds, the people of Lake Arrowhead are demanding a change in the climate of fear that has grown up in this quiet rural community. Whatever the final outcome of that investigation, the case of Allen Kephart is a case study in how law enforcement can lose the support even of citizens who believe strongly in law and order.