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Protests, forums planned in response to FOP president's controversial letter

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Many activists and community leaders are taking action after last week's strongly worded letter from the president of the Fraternal Order of Police. 

The letter written to the public by FOP President Dave Mutchler has sparked so much controversy that a protest, community meeting, and a public forum are all planned Monday.

The group "Ferguson 2 Louisville" planned a protest outside Louisville Metro Police headquarters from noon until 2 p.m.

Mutchler was also invited to meet with the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission at a 2:30 p.m. public meeting at the Louisville Free Public Library on York Street. The group ended up canceling that meeting when they did not get a response from Mutchler.

A letter written by Advocacy Chair Reginald Glass was attached to the invitation. In the letter, Glass calls  Mutchler's letter "unnecessarily aggressive and divisive." He went on to say that "many perceived the tone as threatening."  

CLICK HERE to read the entire letter.

On Monday, Mayor Fischer's office released a letter expressing support for the police department, but noted that the language Mutchler used in his letter made it hard for some people not to see it as a threat.

CLICK HERE TO READ MAYOR FISCHER'S LETTER

Mutchler has been scrutinized by many in the community after a letter calling out people he says are "sensationalists, liars and race-baiters." But he's not backing down from his claims that police officers are not getting the proper support from those they serve. And he says he has support from the other FOP members. 

"These feelings and this opinion are something that has been starting to grow for the last two years.  I've not had one member tell me anything other than saying thank you for saying exactly how we feel," he said.

During last week's press conference, Mutchler didn't back down from his statements:

"It's much easier if police departments or organizations such as the FOP just sit back and let those folks so to speak - run around with impunity and run around and say and do what they want to do - even if they're not truthful or their whole goal is to be inflammatory. That is not acceptable and we have taken a backseat to let that happen for a long time. and we are not going to do that anymore. We are not going to allow anyone to tell lies about us or vilify us - unreasonably. And we have a right to call them out. And we will. I can tell you that free speech and freedom itself is very dear to me."

One of the people offended by the letter said he was in fear for his life.

"I am afraid for my own safety," said the Rev. Gerome Sutton. "I thought about it earlier -- maybe I need to leave town until this dies down. But the truth of the matter is I'm not a coward. I'm not running. Tell the FOP to come on."

Metro Councilman David James is hosting a forum at 5:30 p.m. to talk about last Saturday's fatal LMPD shooting.  That meeting will be held at Fourth Street United Methodist Church.

Related Stories: 

FOP president says he stands behind letter lashing out at 'race-baiters'

Mayor, police chief blast remarks by FOP President

Louisville radio host, minister wants to signify difference between FOP and LMPD

FOP President lashes out at 'sensationalists, liars and race-baiters'

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