YARMOUTH, Mass. (AP/WHDH) — Police chiefs in Massachusetts are expressing their frustrations over a recent comment by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Speaking recently in New Orleans, Louisiana, Warren, a Democrat, called the criminal justice system “racist I mean front to back.” She was discussing disproportionate arrests of African-Americans for petty drug possession and state laws that limit convicted felons from voting while at Dillard University.
Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson called this an insult to the “hard-working men and women of the Yarmouth Police Department” as well as other law enforcement agencies. His comment was posted on Facebook along with a letter sent to Warren from the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, in which President Steve Wojnar says her comment spreads “false and damaging information.”
That letter reads in part, “We feel we do a very good job in Massachusetts of producing professional and community-oriented police officers… 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.”
Warren’s office says she spoke with Frederickson on Saturday and had a “good conversation.”
The senator released a statement to 7News that reads in part, “I appreciate Chief Frederickson’s thoughtful comments. The men and women in law enforcement work in incredibly dangerous situations… I spoke about an entire system – not individuals – and will continue to work on reforms to make the criminal justice system fairer.”
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