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Pence: We Should Not ‘Seize Upon Tragedy’ In Police Incidents For Political Gain

Tuesday at Longwood University in Farmville, VA, at the vice-presidential debate between Democratic nominee Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Republican nominee Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), Pence said,”the bad mouthing that comes from people that seize upon tragedy in the wake of police action shootings as a reason to use a broad brush to accuse law enforcement of implicit bias or institutional racism.”

Pence said, “You know, my uncle was a cop, a career cop, on the beat in downtown Chicago. He was my hero when I was growing up. And we grew up to visit my dad’s family in Chicago, my three brothers and I would marvel at my uncle when he would come out in his uniform, sidearm at his side. Police officers are the best of us, and the men and women—white, African-American, Latino, Asian, Hispanic—they put their lives on the line every single day. And let my say, at the risk of agreeing with you, community policing is a great idea. It’s worked in the Hoosier state. And we fully support that. Donald Trump and I are going to make sure that law enforcement have the resources and the tools to be able to really restore law and order to the cities and communities in this nation. It’s probably why the 330,000 members of the fraternal Order of Police endorsed Donald Trump as the next president of the United States of America, because they see his commitment to them. They see his commitment to law and order. But they also—they also hear the bad mouthing, the bad mouthing that comes from people that seize upon tragedy in the wake of police action shootings as a reason to use a broad brush to accuse law enforcement of implicit bias or institutional racism.”

“And that really has got to stop. I mean, when an African-American police officer in Charlotte named Brentley Vinson, an all-star football player who went to Liberty University here in the state, went home, followed his dad into law enforcement, joined the force in Charlotte in 2014, was involved in a police action shooting that claimed the life of Keith Lamont Scott, it was a tragedy,” he continued. “I mean, we—we mourn with those who mourn. We grieve with those who grieve and we’re saddened at the loss of life. But Hillary Clinton actually referred to that moment as an example of implicit bias in the police force, where she used—when she was asked in the debate a week ago whether there was implicit bias in law enforcement, her only answer was that there’s implicit bias in everyone in the United States. I just think what we ought to do is stop seizing on these moments of tragedy. We ought to assure the public that we’ll have a full and complete and transparent investigation wherever there’s a loss of life, because of police action. But senator, please, you know, enough of this seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement broadly by making the accusation of implicit bias every time tragedy occurs.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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