Recently, we denounced the actions and beliefs of Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, anti-Semites and the Ku Klux Klan. There is no place in our country for these hateful individuals and their organizations.
The repugnant rhetoric spewed by these individuals and their organizations should be met with strong and peaceful opposition. As police officers, we are duty-bound to protect anyone who peacefully assembles to exercise their constitutional rights to express themselves.
Unfortunately, some individuals are exploiting the protection that law enforcement is providing to keep the peace as an opportunity to physically attack police officers. This must end now.
Whether these cowards call themselves “Antifa” or “counter-protesters,” their physical assaults on American police officers represent a dangerous disregard for our entire community’s safety. Assaulting a police officer is a crime, and these criminals should be held accountable.
Recently in Phoenix, we saw these groups attack law enforcement officers with gas canisters, bottles, rocks and other dangerous projectiles at police officers who were positioned to keep those supporting the president and those opposed to the president separated for their own safety. Boston police officers, who worked bravely to ensure the safety of over 40,000 protesters, were attacked in a similar fashion by these cowards.
We’re calling on all of our nation’s civic leaders to stand up for those of us in uniform and speak out loudly against the tactics of using violence to further political beliefs. We’re calling on our elected and appointed officials to denounce anyone who commits violence or encourages violence against a police officer or anyone peacefully assembled, and to swiftly prosecute those individuals.
We know the overwhelming majority of Americans have faith in their police officers and appreciate the work they do to keep our communities safe. Now is the time, however, for our elected leaders to speak up when they see the shameless acts of a few who threaten not just our safety, but the ability for peaceful political discourse to occur in our country.
We’re renewing our call for any organization or individual planning to assemble to propagate hate with the goal of inciting or committing violence to stay home. Do us all a favor and keep your hate, rhetoric and cowardly attacks to yourself.