Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton was denounced by the largest law enforcement union in the state Sunday for stating that police are motivated by racism.
Philando Castile was rushed to the hospital and later pronounced dead July 6 after being shot by police during a traffic stop. Dayton noted the following day the incident would have likely not happened if Castile was white. The Law Enforcement Labor Services (LELS) condemned the comments as irresponsible and reckless.
“Thorough and impartial investigations of these incidents are essential to ensure and preserve the public trust,” LELS Executive Director Sean Gormley said in a statement to the local affiliate of NBC. “However, the fact that Governor Dayton would disregard this investigatory process and use the power of his office to share a premature and unsupported conclusion about the shooting of Mr. Castile just hours after his death is unthinkable and irresponsible.”
Gormley adds the comments are also dangerous given the high tensions that already exist between minority groups and police. Black Lives Matter (BLM) and other organizations blame police for being influenced by systematic racism. Some people have even sought retribution for black men being shot by law endorsement.
“In light of the fatal shootings of five Dallas police officers later the same day, amid heightened tensions across the entire nation, the governor’s comments could also be viewed as reckless,” Gormley notes. “The governor’s comments have only deepened the divide between these groups and made our jobs more difficult and more dangerous.”
There have been several incidences of alleged police misconduct that garnered national attention in the last couple years. Freddie Gray died in April 2015 from spinal injuries while in the custody of Baltimore police. Additionally Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, Mo. by local police. Both deaths resulted in several protests as well as riots and looting.
The BLM movement started in 2013 to combat violence against minority populations. Participants have rallied against police brutality in cities and towns across the country. BLM has been denounced by some critics who sees its brash methods as only making racial tensions worse.
BLM protesters hijacked a rally Aug. 8 for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. While Sanders helplessly stood by, protesters began making demands in the microphone. The self-proclaimed democratic-socialist was a civil rights advocate throughout his life including back during the 1960s when he was a college students at the height of the civil rights movement.
Dayton did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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