Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Slam Elizabeth Warren for Anti-Police Statements

August 14, 2019 Updated: August 14, 2019

Police chiefs across Massachusetts criticized Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a top Democratic presidential contender, for her comments about the shooting of Michael Brown.

Warren said recently that Brown was “murdered” by a police officer five years ago. An investigation by Obama’s Department of Justice found sufficient evidence backing the officer’s claim that he acted in self-defense because Brown had assaulted him.

The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association took offense and sent Warren a letter blasting her claim.

“What you tweeted was based on false information. The entire case was thoroughly investigated by the United States Justice Department. If you took the time to read the conclusion, you will find that Michael Brown was not murdered. Read the details and you will know the truth,” wrote Russell Stevens, chief of the association, in the letter to Warren.

Several hundred people gather for a remembrance for Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. Sunday marks one year since Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Several hundred people gather for a remembrance for Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9, 2015. (Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)
Officer Darren Wilson attends a city council meeting in Ferguson on Feb. 11, 2014. Wilson has told authorities that Michael Brown reached for the gun during a scuffle, the Times reported in a story posted on its website Friday night, Oct. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/City of Ferguson)
Officer Darren Wilson attends a city council meeting in Ferguson on Feb. 11, 2014. (City of Ferguson/AP Photo)

“Your reckless tweet will only serve to create hatred towards police officers and place them in danger of more assaults and perhaps death. Having had two police officers murdered in your own state in the past 18 months, we expect our elected officials to condemn the murder and assaults of police officers,” he added.

“Instead on multiple occasions, you choose to fan the fires of divide for your own political gains. Shame on you! I am so proud of what the profession of policing has done to build relationships through 21st century police initiatives, and the energy and effort we put forth to make our communities a better place. Senator Warren, you are pushing us in the wrong direction.”

Frank Frederickson, the police chief in Yarmouth, also issued a statement saying Warren’s missive was “another slap in the face” after Warren’s controversial comments about the criminal justice system in 2018, when she said: “It’s racist … I mean front to back.”

Democratic presidential candidates
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) (C) speaks while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (L) listen at the beginning of the Democratic Presidential Debate in Detroit, Michigan on July 30, 2019. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Elizabeth Warren delivers her closing statement
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) delivers her closing statement in the first round of the second Democratic primary debate at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, on July 30, 2019. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

“Unfortunately, this will sound political to some but it is not! It is about setting the record straight and not exposing police officers to unwarranted negativity and danger. After Senator Warren’s comments were confronted last August, to her credit, she called me and tried to explain the real meaning of her ill advised comments. I am very proud to say that Yarmouth police officers do not fit Senator Warren’s statement, and for the record policing in Massachusetts is excellent in spite of obstacles such as this,” Frederickson wrote.

“I fully recognize that policing has to always be responsive and accountable for our errors and I believe we work hard to do so. I received some criticism for calling out Senator Warren last year and probably will again this year, but if it sets the record straight and repairs some of the damage done, I have no problem bearing the brunt of criticism. Senator Warren, I implore you to come and spend some time in a Massachusetts police department and see what actually takes place. Remember you said you would do that?”

Warren, 73, has not responded to the criticism.

The longtime Senator is one of the frontrunners in the Democratic field and has already qualified for the next round of debates.

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