Sacramento Police Union Chief Blasts Mayor over Ferguson Comments

Sacramento Police Union Chief Blasts Mayor over Ferguson Comments

Dustin Smith, head of the Sacramento Police Officers Association, fired back at Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s ill-considered comments regarding the non-indictment of Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown by a grand jury. Smith said Johnson “shouldn’t be disappointed, he should be relieved” that Wilson was not found to “acted in a heinous fashion.” He bluntly said of Johnson’s post-decision rant, “It’s a complete slap in the face to law enforcement throughout the nation.”

Monday night, reports the Sacramento Bee, Johnson had snapped after the decision that it was “just a sad day for America, in my opinion, when you think about injustice and all the things that have happened over the history of time. This one just doesn’t feel right.”

By Tuesday, Smith and Johnson had effected a rapprochement. Johnson met with Smith and asserted, “We cleared the air and felt good about it.” Yet Johnson defiantly refused to retract his comments, only lamely acknowledging, “No matter what happened in Ferguson, (the comments) were not meant to be an indictment of police officers anywhere and certainly not in Sacramento.”

Johnson made his comments after the decision despite the fact that in early October, he met with the Sacramento NAACP and other officials to discuss improvements between Sacramento and its police force. Only days before that, he published a tirade in the Sacramento Bee regarding the Ferguson case in which he said, “…I am tired of hearing of instances in which racial profiling and excessive use of force against black men ends in senseless bloodshed.” 

After detailing experiences where he felt he had been singled out for his race, he continued, “I never allowed those experiences to define me, but they fueled my ambitions and desires to see the next generation of African American kids in this country not be judged and treated according to the color of their skin. We’re so far from that reality. I know that every time I hear about a Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin.”

There was more: “We do not live in the post-racial society that so many profess we do. Stereotypes, prejudices and biases plague our nation in a way that frustrates and at times enrages communities of color.”

He added a remark that could easily be construed as racist: “In Ferguson, a community that is nearly 70 percent African American, only three of 53 police officers are African American. Though that statistic alone cannot account for the death of Michael Brown, it is problematic, to say the least.”