Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is facing backlash from local police departments following her comments labeling the judicial system as “racist.”
Speaking at Dillard University, a historically black college in New Orleans, Warren told the crowd what she considered to be “the hard truth about our criminal justice system: It’s racist … I mean front to back.” Shockingly, the comments followed a speech she gave at the progressive Netroots Nation conference a day earlier where she condemned divisiveness in politics.
Warren was first asked about her alienating rhetoric at a town hall in Fitchburg on August 9 where she responded saying “This wasn’t about individuals. I didn’t call any individual anything.”
She was again asked about the comment two days later at another town hall in Eastham when a constituent said her characterization of the justice system “stung as a slap in the face” to the law enforcement community.
A week after her initial comments, Massachusetts police chiefs fired back condemning her divisive rhetoric.
In an open letter on Facebook, Chief Frank Fredrerickson of Yarmouth Police Department called Warren’s statement “an insult” to many law enforcement officers and other members of the criminal justice system that she “slapped in the face.”
Fredrerickson expressed discontent that Warren had recently paid respects to local fallen officers just prior to her attack on the system.
“Sen. Warren’s recent statement tarnished us all and dimished [sic] the sincerty [sic] of her condolence efforts. I now cannot trust her actions or words are real” Fredrerickson wrote. “I have a lot of repect [sic] for those who serve in elected positions even though we may disagree at times, however statements like this are disrespectful and divisive.”
Chief Steven Wojnar of the Dudley Police Department and president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association also wrote a letter to Warren asking her to clarify the comments, praised the work of the Massachusetts police officers and condemned her for spreading “false and damaging information.”
“These men and women, from a variety of backgrounds, provide dedicated service to their respective communities under difficult and highly scrutinized circumstances each day,” Wojnar said. “When our elected officials make generalized and inflammatory statements about our entire profession, without any information to back their position, it creates further hostility toward our officers and can damage the positive relationships with our residents that we have worked long and hard to establish.”
Wojnar also accused Warren of playing politics saying “from the outside, it appears your statement was strategically placed to garner support for your position.”
Warren is considered to be a frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020.
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