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KERRY, RACIAL PROFILING, AND THE POLITICS OF DIVISION
Suggests that local police need greater Federal oversight by a new Attorney General


Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, blasted presidential candidate John Kerry’s suggestion that local law enforcement officers need greater Federal oversight to ensure that the constitutional rights of our nation’s citizens are being upheld.

“To suggest that the Federal government needs a new U.S. Attorney General to do a better job ending the so-called practice of ‘racial profiling’ by local law enforcement officers is offensive and demeaning to the men and women in uniform who put themselves in harms’ way everyday,” Canterbury said. “It is wrong to think a man a criminal because of the color of his skin, and it is equally wrong to think a man a racist because of the color of his uniform.”

While campaigning in Ohio recently, Senator Kerry stated that his Justice Department would do a better job investigating “racial profiling” by local law enforcement agencies, adding that he would “have an attorney general who inspires the confidence of all communities in America that the constitution will be upheld.”

“The F.O.P. has spent years working to correct the mistaken perception that the ugliness of racism is part of the culture of law enforcement, but this perception persists because it is fertile ground for media sensationalism and the politics of division,” Canterbury said. “In his campaign for the Presidency, John Kerry has shown himself to be adept at both and his remarks are merely the most recent example of how he continues to exploit the real divisions in our communities in an effort to win votes.”

Describing the so-called practice of “racial profiling” as the use of race as the sole factor to trigger specific law enforcement activity, Canterbury said that is not a legitimate police practice and is not employed by any legitimate law enforcement agency in the United States. “In fact,” he added, “it’s bad law enforcement, and John Kerry knows it.”

“Unless the Justice Department in a Kerry Administration is going to push for Federal takeovers of local law enforcement agencies, just as the Clinton Administration did in the closing years of its second term, his suggestion that a different U.S. Attorney General will solve this ‘problem’ is perplexing,” Canterbury said. “Local law enforcement should stay local and not be run out of Washington.”

The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States, with more than 318,000 members.
 
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