Thursday, September 28, 2017

CONYERS: Michigan Needs A New State Police Director

Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) issued the following statement after Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue posted an uninformed statement on Facebook concerning National Football League (NFL) protests against racial injustice:

Dean of the U.S. House
of Representatives
John Conyers, Jr.
“I have been defending the ideal symbolized by the American flag for my entire adult life. Here in the U.S. Congress since 1965; before that as a state official; and before that as an officer in the United States Army serving in the Korean Conflict.  When I went off to war, the country I fought for was far from realized: in Korea I was an officer and a gentleman; at home I was a second-class citizen.  But still I fought, because our country is about so much more than a flag or an anthem.  It is about a great struggle, centuries in the making, to make a more perfect union. 

“Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue is entitled to her wrong-headed, spiteful opinion. However, her comments in regards to NFL players protesting racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem were completely inappropriate, unbefitting an officer of the state of Michigan, and raise practical concerns about her ability to enforce the laws of our state and country.

“Michigan needs a Michigan State Police Director who understands the very real issue of racial injustice and the blatant disparities that African-Americans face within our criminal justice system and at the hands of some ill-willed law enforcement officers. Instead of bashing the protests, Etue should be looking to address the reason for the protests in the first place, by working with the Michigan police force and the communities they protect and serve to improve relations.  If Etue cannot complete that mission, she should stand down.

“I strongly believe that no one should ever make the mistake that the fight for justice in America is anything less than an act of patriotism.  As a veteran, I served alongside soldiers who fought for this country’s freedom. It is time for us to honor these struggles and commit to working toward a society that so many have sacrificed for.”

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