A candidate for sheriff in Lyon County is surprised to be attracting attention for posting a picture of himself on Facebook with a man whose face is painted to look like the Confederate flag.
“I didn’t realize it was going to turn out to be that big a deal,” Lyon County Sheriff’s Commander Frank Hunewill told the Mason Valley News, a community paper affiliated with the Reno Gazette Journal. The man Hunewill was photographed with is “just an average American citizen. There’s no racial stuff or anything involved as far as he’s concerned. He’s just a good old southern boy.”
Hunewill had evidently removed the photo after it was taken over the Fourth of July. But he reposted it on Facebook last week.
“Recently I was criticized by someone for this picture being posted and then removed,” Hunewill wrote July 30.
“I was fortunate to meet this gentleman in Fernley during the 4th of July,” the candidate for sheriff continued. “Just like so many other people we encounter on a daily basis he had a story. To be a good peace officer you need to be willing to take time out of your day to listen to people’s stories and not prejudge them based on your first impression. It goes back to being neutral and treating people with respect.”
Hunewill’s Facebook post had 105 likes.
Hunewill is challenging incumbent Lyon County Sheriff Al McNeil. “These types of images are unacceptable from any employee of the Sheriff’s Office,” McNeil told the Mason Valley News.