AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton has joined a letter to leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, requesting assistance in “tempering the anti-police rhetoric that is jeopardizing the safety of our officers.”
“We especially rely on you, as the leaders of the most important legislative body in the world, to discourage dangerous disinformation and to help us restore the country’s faith in the overwhelming majority of law-enforcement officers who perform their jobs honorably and bring stability to our cities and states,” the letter states.
The attorneys general write that although the “tragic and preventable” death of George Floyd shined a spotlight on “bad actors” in law enforcement, the data doesn’t support claims that law enforcement is “systemically racist.”
“The vast majority of law enforcement officers across our country act prudently, professionally, and heroically,” Paxton said in a statement. “However, when our nation’s leaders fail to fight back against disinformation or even spread it themselves, peace officer’s lives are endangered.”
The attorneys general contend that it is possible to support law enforcement and also speak out against those who dishonor the badge.
“These two concepts are not mutually exclusive and is why there has been virtually no support from law enforcement for the horrific decisions made by the officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s death,” the letter states. “Individuals, including members of Congress, are dangerously fanning the flames of emotion by tacitly or explicitly supporting the ‘Defund the Police’ (or worse) movement.”
Ultimately, it is the prerogative of cities and states to choose the best course of action for their citizens, the letter states in closing.
“Many law-enforcement agencies have instituted policies, reexamined training and protocols, and rightly worked with their local communities to build trust and encourage problem solving,” Paxton said. “Condemning all peace officers, due to the actions of a few, could incite chaos and anarchy.”
Other states whose attorneys general signed the letter include: Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, Indiana, Ohio, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Nebraska and South Carolina.
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