AKRON, Ohio -- Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples, who is Dennis Kucinich's running mate in the Ohio Democratic gubernatorial race, has released the following statement after her son is accused of posting threats to police on Facebook.
"I have always been supportive and advocated for the Akron Police Officers, even before I became an Akron City Councilwoman. In my time as a bailiff, I had a very good working relationship with the Akron Police Department, and in no way do I condone or support my son's distressing social media post.
The officers who personally know me, know that I have always been accessible and supportive of them. Further, I have always advocated for those with mental health and addiction issues and will continue to do so, not only as a mother of a child suffering with these illnesses, but for those who do not have support systems.
In no way do I think is it appropriate for anyone to threaten anyone else, especially those who serve and protect. Our hope as a family is that this will be an opportunity to get Brian the help he has needed for many years. Further, we hope that this shines a light on those living with mental health and addiction issues, many who have encounters with law enforcement officers. I thank the police who understand the impact of these diseases on individuals in our community.
We can build bridges to help police remain safe and effective when dealing with people affected by mental health and addiction issues, while connecting citizens like my son to the help they need.
In closing, I deeply apologize on behalf of my son to those who serve and protect us each and every day, and I thank the officers who either called, texted or our family offering well wishes, words of encouragement and their support."
The Kucinich-Samples campaign said Samples' son, Brian Newell, 24, was taken into protective custody after he "suffered an emotional episode and posted threatening messages on his Facebook page."
Ohio Going Blue reposted a status from Newell on Sunday that said "I bet I kill a cop today...."
A statement from the Kucinich-Samples campaign went on to say, "Tara is hoping to have him admitted to Summa St. Thomas Hospital, which specializes in behavioral health, opiate treatment, and traumatic stress – because Brian, like all people with mental health and addiction issues, needs treatment, not jail time...."