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Teller Co. Sheriff breaks silence via social media following 13 Investigates Special Report

TELLER COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Teller County Sheriff is breaking his silence regarding current deputy Brandon Victor five days after a 13 Investigates report revealing at least seven of the deputy's former colleagues raised concerns about his behavior.

Sheriff Jason Mikesell came to his deputy's defense through a Facbook post on the Teller County Sheriff's Office page on Tuesday. Mikesell said Brandon Victor is a good deputy, and he is proud to stand behind him.

"I firmly believe he is a good man whom I have seen to work well with all of our deputies and loves working here in this community," Mikesell said via Facebook. "I have received several letters from community members whom have had wonderful interactions with Brandon and all of our deputies. Who I hope if in an hour of need he is with me or helping my family."

Victor worked as a Pueblo police officer from 2018 to 2020. Some of his former fellow officers described him as a "loose cannon," "reckless," and "aggressive" during an internal affairs investigation into Victor's third officer-involved shooting in 10 months. The 10th Judicial District Attorney's Office ruled all three of Victor's shootings justified.

Brandon Victor

"He is going to get one of us killed," said one fellow Pueblo police officer. "Or he’s going to end up going to jail, or a civil lawsuit. Frankly, I don't want to work with him."

Victor resigned from the job in July of 2020 amid an internal affairs review related to his shootings. The Teller County Sheriff's Office hired Victor as a deputy in June 2021.

It was in November when 13 Investigates first started asking the Teller County Sheriff's Office and the County questions about Victor.

13 Investigates requested to speak with Sheriff Mikesell multiple times, but he never agreed to talk or provide answers to our questions, including questions about the department's hiring policies and procedures for potential deputies.

Sheriff Mikesell did address his agency's hiring practices in the Facebook post, describing them as "very stringent."

"Requiring oral board interviews, integrity interviews, backgrounds done by my detectives and psychological interviews done by licensed professionals before I make the final decision to hire," Sheriff Mikesell said. "We also review IA or internal Affair reports as well."

The family of one of the suspects Victor shot and killed as a Pueblo police officer has filed a federal lawsuit seeking damages, alleging excessive force. The litigation is ongoing.

13 Investigates reached out again to Sheriff Mikesell Tuesday night for an interview. Mikesell again declined to interview with us or comment beyond his Facebook statement.

Read the full Facebook statement below:

Author Profile Photo

Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

11 Comments

  1. Ol’ Dan keeping them honest. Seems like our local law enforcement are as corrupt as hell.

  2. “Requiring oral board interviews, integrity interviews, backgrounds done by my detectives and psychological interviews done by licensed professionals before I make the final decision to hire,”
    .
    He doesn’t say he takes the results of those checks into account before he makes a decision.

    1. I think it’s important to acknowledge that while shooting four people, three fatally, in three separate incidents in the course of ten months seems to indicate a serious problem,there are potential scenarios in which no misconduct is present. I can’t know with any certainty from here whether those were justified shootings.

      But I would like to have seen a direct address of the deputy having resigned while under investigation and having been involved in a fatal shooting incident after having not turned on his body camera. It would seem like those two factors are not disputed and should obviously disqualify a person for future hires in law enforcement.

  3. The response does not address or refute the facts of the story, and instead engages in weird political posturing (e.g. against bail policy in other states) and personal attacks against the reporter, which is shockingly unethical. I have no definitive information about the deputy in question, but the sheriff’s post has given me much more information about himself. I note KRDO has only reported information from solid sources and not engaged in personal attacks against the sheriff in any way, and has not even included here the parts of the response that were attacks against the reporter. KRDO has also maintained a high standard against bias and sensationalism by not noting previous issues with the Teller County sheriff’s department, like the lawsuit against a deputy for tasering an innocent veteran. Actual investigative reporting is very rare these days, and KRDO is doing a good job practicing it. The people of Teller have now been informed about these situations, that is the role of the Fourth Estate in a healthy democratic republic. Well done.

    1. Good points, Marie. Good job by KRDO. Seems like the offending officer and this sheriff see eye to eye on what “public service” should look like.

      1. The impression is left, I don’t know if it’s correct or not, that the shootings and investigations and lack of body cam footage was a feature, not a bug, in the hiring process.

  4. After reading Sheriff Mikesell’s statement, it made me lurch a lot. Then the comments of blind support advocating for this officer, but blindly ignore all of the other facts.
    1. 1 officer shot 3 separate suspects in 3 separate incidents within 10 months.
    2. At least 7 fellow officers had concerns about his behavior according to the 12 IA tapes.
    3. IA interview Officer #1, “Basically he is going to get one of us killed”.
    4. IA interview Officer #2, “He has like an ego problem or something he always has to prove something”.
    5. IA interview Officer #2, “Starts going back and forth kind of just talking S**T back and forth. Then Brandon kinda got serious like you better watch out for me man i’ve already shot two people”.
    6. IA interview Officer #3, “Victor just snapped on me”.
    7. IA interview Officer #3, “He is like get the F**k off my scene”.
    8. IA interview Officer #3, “he is so aggressive”.
    9. IA interview Officer #4, “I think he is a loose cannon”.
    10. IA interview Officer #4, “Joking or not it’s jacked up”.
    11. IA interview Officer #5, “He is not afraid to flaunt he has been in officer involved shootings”.
    12 IA interview Officer #5, “When I heard that that really took me back… You Don’t… You don’t say that”.
    13. IA interview Officer #6, “Don’t run from Victor”. Tenn v Gardner.
    14. IA interview Officer #6, “As he went out with the car I was sitting there thinking to myself ‘man we are going to have a fricken shots fired’. within thirty seconds sure as S**T we did”.
    So the question remains which group of officers do we listen to, Sheriff Mikesell and Deputy Victor, or the 7 other officers and their sworn testimony in their IA affidavit interviews? Perhaps I am the oddball here but I believe that anyone would rather listen to the 7 more than the 2, especially when one of the two was not there and is now just attempting to justify his decision to hire this individual.

    1. correction,
      “14. IA interview Officer #6,” should be “14. IA interview Officer #7,”

    2. It is frustrating.
      It is possible the FB comments aren’t reflective of the population’s POV overall, as posting criticism openly right now would obviously be imprudent.

  5. He’ll fit in nicely in Teller County. Your neck turns red just driving through Woodland Park and Divide.

    1. That and the sound of the dueling banjos from the movie Deliverance and the Andy Griffith show are the only 2 soundtracks you will ever hear from up there.

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