FOP president says he stands behind letter lashing out at 'race-baiters'
Some are calling the letter an open declaration of war.
Friday, June 19th 2015, 4:17 PM EDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The president of the union that represents Louisville Metro Police is standing behind a strongly written letter lashing out at what he calls "sensationalists, liars and race-baiters" -- and he's doing more to explain why he wrote it in the first place.
David Mutchler says he wrote the letter after last week's officer-involved fatal shooting and ongoing criticism from certain groups -- and while he stands behind the letter, some people now calling for his resignation.
Mutchler has just about everyone's attention right now.
"I was very aware that there could be backlash like that," he said.
On Friday afternoon, Mutchler defended a fiery open letter he wrote lashing out at what he calls "sensationalists, liars and race-baiters."
"There are those people in every community," Mutchler said.
The letter was written in response to ongoing criticism, and most recently, after a Louisville Metro Police officer shot and killed a man who charged him with a flag pole last weekend.
"These feelings and this opinion are something that has been starting to grow for the last two years," he said.
Metro Councilman David James is a former police officer and FOP president. He says he understands the frustration, but doesn't want things to get out of control.
"So, what I thought when I first read the letter is...I thought, well, he's feeling pretty passionate about what has occurred," James said. "I would tell the FOP and the FOP president and the activists also that we should really be dealing with the facts of this particular situation and try to keep our emotions in check."
But it may be too late for that. Dr. Ricky Jones is a professor and chair of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville...he says the letter goes too far and believe Mutchler needs to go.
"The letter was nothing less than a declaration of war," he said. "Right now, we don't know if this was just an individual statement or one the officers supported...and if they don't support it, they need to get rid of him. They should not follow a man like this."
But Mutchler says he has the support of his members.
"This is how the majority of my members feel," he said.
Meanwhile, both Mayor Fischer and Police Chief Steve Conrad released statements essentially saying Mutchler's letter does not reflect the sentiments of the vast majority.
Mutchler says he is open to meeting with any activists who have questions about the letter. Also, councilman David James is hosting a public forum on Monday to discuss issues and concerns people have about the shooting.
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