FOP Makes Plea To President Obama

It has been a tragic week for law enforcement.  We started the week with three line of duty deaths in 2016 and five days later we stand at 10.  Eight officers were brutally gunned down by assailants.  Many on social media are quick to point out that the President has said nothing about this violence.  While there could be a debate on whether it is sound practice for the President of the United States to comment on local police tragedies, that train has already left.  The President began his tenure speaking on local police matters when his friend, Henry Gates, was arrested and it seems he hasn’t stopped.  The problem, as many see it, is the President doesn’t speak out on local police matters when law enforcement are the victims of murder.

Maybe that expectation is unfair and we don’t know what the President is doing behind the scenes but it certainly seems that the Fraternal Order of Police has an excellent idea here.  They have once again asked the President to expand the Federal hate crime law to include law enforcement when they are murdered based on the uniform they wear.  Some may argue that many professions are killed doing their job but that misses the issue altogether.  The death of a construction worker or a logger is tragic but they aren’t dead because someone targeted them based on their profession.  They are killed through workplace accidents while police officers are often targeted and murdered because of who they are and what they look like.  With that in mind, we like what the FOP has to say.  You can read it below.


 

The Honorable Barack H. Obama II      12 February 2016
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.  20500

Dear Mr. President,

More than a year ago, I wrote to you and the leaders of Congress on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to urge, in the strongest possible terms, that the current Federal hate crimes law be expanded to include law enforcement officers.  This call has gone unanswered and our nation’s law enforcement officers continue to die in the streets.

Under current law, persons who deliberately victimize another person because of the race, color, creed, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability are subject to greater penalties.  The law passed with bipartisan support because Congress saw a need to expand the law to protect a group of our fellow citizens whom we suspected were being targeted as victims of violence and intimidation.  In addition to increased criminal penalties, the law required the U.S. Department of Justice to collect data on these crimes so that we in law enforcement can do a better job of deterring and preventing them.

Mr. President, now Americans who choose to be law enforcement officers, who choose to serve their communities and put their lives on the line for their fellow citizens, find themselves hunted and targeted just because of the uniform they wear.  Already in 2016, seven officers have been shot to death while on duty:

Officer Thomas W. Cottrell, Jr. of the Danville Police Department in Ohio was shot and killed in an ambush attack by a man who told his ex-girlfriend that he intended to kill a law enforcement officer.

Officer Douglas S. Barney of the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake in Utah was responding to the scene of a car crash when one of the drivers, a man with an extensive criminal background and active Federal and State warrants, shot and killed him.  The shooter wounded another officer before being killed by responding officers.

Deputy Patrick Dailey of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland confronted a man at restaurant who was wanted in Florida for assaulting a law enforcement officer.  As he took a seat at the man’s table, the man drew a firearm and shot and killed Deputy Dailey.  The shooter was pursued by other officers, including Harford County Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon, who was killed during the ensuing gun fight.

Sergeant Jason Goodding of the Seaside Police Department on Oregon identified a wanted felon while on patrol and attempted to arrest the man, who resisted.  Another officer struck the man with a Taser but he was still able to draw and fire his weapon at Sgt. Goodding, killing him.

Deputy Derek Geer of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado confronted a juvenile suspect while on patrol who immediately became combative.  A Taber was deployed to subdue th suspect, but he was still able to draw a gun and shoot Deputy Geer, who died the next day from his injuries.

Officer Jason Moszer of the Fargo Police Department in North Dakota responded to a domestic violence disturbance call.  A man, armed with multiple long guns, called dispatchers after barricading himself inside of his home and told them he was going to shoot at officers.  He shot and killed Officer Moszer from his barricade.

Major Greg Barney of the Riverdale Police Department in Georgia was assisting officers from the Clayton County Police Department who were serving an arrest warrant.  The subject attempted to escape and shot and killed Major Barney.

Mr. President, that is eight officers–six in less than a week–who have been gunned down by assailants striking from ambush or career criminals with active warrants who decided they would not be taken into custody, no matter the cost.  Enough is enough!  This must end.

It is not just talk; it is not just rhetoric.  Those spewing this hatred and those calling for violence are having an impact.  They have been given a platform by the media to convey the message that police officers are their enemy and it is time to attack that enemy.  Social media accounts are full of hatred and calls to target and kill police officers.  The vitriol, the hateful screeds and statements of those we are sworn to protect and defend, as well as public calls to kill and injure police officers, are horrifying. There is a very real and very deliberate campaign to terrorize our nation’s law enforcement officers.

Elected officials are quick to console the families of the fallen and praise us for the difficult and dangerous work that we do every day.  Yet, too many are silent when the hate speech floods the media with calls for violence against police or demands that police stand down and give them “room to destroy.”  The violence will not end until the rhetoric does which is why  I have called on Congress and your Administration to work with us to address the surge of violence against police by expanding the Federal hate crimes law to protect police.  We must stand up and reject, completely and without qualification, the use of violence, terror and hate as an instrument of social change.  That is not who we are as Americans.

The great Irish statesman, Edmund Burke wrote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  Too many good men and women are doing nothing and saying nothing in defense of us, the defenders.  As a result, we now have the crisis of this nationwide trend of violence against police officers.  We need your help to solve it.

On behalf of the more than 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you for your consideration of our views on this issue and look forward to discussing them with you further.

Sincerely,

Chuck Canterbury
National President

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11 Comments

  1. ROGER GREENE

    IT IS SAID THAT THE PRESIDENT WILL NOT BLINK A EYE AND REPLY TO YOU.WE OBAMMA APPROVED SENDING 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS TO AID IRAN, YEY THE PRESIDENT OF IRAN, MADE A VIDEO STATING FOR ISLAMIC ‘S TO CUT THE THROATS ON AMERICANS. PEOPLE WHO WEAR THE BLUE UNIFORM WILL NOT HERE ANYTHING FROM OBAMA, USLESS ANOTHER BLACK THUGS IS SHOT WHILE BEING INVOLVED IN A CRIME.

  2. Kirby Thompson

    Obama doesn’t care about Kentucky cause we’re against him being in office for what he has done to our economy and to our coal miners troopers need to wear there bullet proof vest at all time to protect there self I totally support our troopers for what they have to do for us daily someone need to come up vest for the legs that wrap the sides
    I wouldn’t go asking Obama for help you need to ask your fellow citizens that support you if I didn’t have to take a criminal justice class I’d apply to work for y’all

  3. Mac

    As a retired police officer and a prior F.O.P. member I support your efforts that this letter to the president attempts to promote. I can only hope that it will not be received by blind eyes and deaf ears.

  4. Jan

    Obama really needs to start standing up and doing something about this!! This is ridiculous. Either Obama does something about this, or the American people will.

  5. Ben Gilkey

    I have had two attempts on my life while on duty and have even been stalked by a man who wanted nothing else but to kill me. He almost succeeded the second time and out me in the hospital for a week with several broken bones, concussion, and I nearly bled to death. So I am pro police as it gets. Officers being murdered bothers me to the point of laying awake at night. It’s personal. And yes we have a racist nut job in the White House who is 100% against the police. He has proven that. BUT….. Can we PLEASE stop using the term “hate crime” and abolish this nonsense? Any time you murder a human being it is hate. It’s not a gun problem and it has nothing to do with race. It is a HATE problem regardless of WHO it is committed against whether they are black, white, Hispanic, gay, straight, uniformed personnel or not. Hate is hate and murder is murder. The term hate crime is some politically correct garbage and to put it in a nut shell, the police do not need to adopt the same terminology. But if we truly believe that ALL lives matter, we will all admit that there is a heart problem in this country and we need to get back to the teachings of Jesus Christ which is to love your neighbor as your self, to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and to forgive. Barack Obama can’t give us these values back regardless of what he says or doesn’t say. It is up to us to raise our children to love God and respect for others as well as them selves.

  6. Chris Helmick

    Expand the Federal Hate Crimes Law the Lives saved may be your family member.

  7. Zazimodo

    I know what a Taser is…but what the hell is a Taber?

  8. Terri Martin

    These killings of officers including the four legged ones must stop before our officers quit to ease the pain and worry of their families. They do have family. Food for thought, at dinner look at your children and imagine one being harmed or worse one dies at the game of a thug because there was no officer available to protect them. I have family that puts that badge on and first responders as well that I pray for their safety everyday, that they make it home. Think about the mess we would be in without our law enforcement. No one would be safe you could not protect your children unless they were with you 24/7 . How would you feed them then?

  9. Jim Dobbs

    Mr. Canterbury, you will still not hear a word from this sorry excuse of a man, let alone, him being some so called President. He has lied to America and to the world. Lies seem not to faze this two-faced imbecile. I believe him to be a masterful Fraud that will head for the hills once he has been kicked to the curb where he should have been kicked a long time ago.

    This dolt is the biggest race baiting ass we as Americans have ever had the displeasure of knowing! What kind of fraudulent agents and atheist/communist people have helped and schemed this fraud to the highest seat in the house?

    I hear what you are asking for and I hope to God that something does take place that will ensure the law enforcement men and women are provided some sort of protection from the likes of these animals that laugh about killing a law enforcement agent. However, in my humble opinion, Barack Hussein Obama is NOT on your side. He is shameless! He lies and then he lies some more. Just look at how he has decimated our once proud and fearless Military. This thing, is not good for this country! It is way past time that Americans wake up to what is really happening in Obama’s lawless, treasonous administration!

    We, the Real Americans will have your back! We will stand with you and all law enforcement agencies. I for one, a VietNam Veteran would be proud to stand with you all…………

  10. Willie Burnett

    I am in agreement with your letter and your request. It appears that nothing is being done to stop the murders. It seems the Superbowl was used as a platform to promote even more violence against our Police Officers. This is a hate crime.

  11. Tom Tindal

    I’m not too sure in regards to this falling under “hate crimes”. The police and military are very much the same in putting their lives on the line. I always thought that we had adequate laws for crimes before the enactment of hate crime legislation. In regards to Obama and Law Enforcement he may just say here’s a quarter call someone that cares. I hope I’m wrong.

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