MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry led an 11-state Attorney General letter to Congressional leadership in support of America’s law enforcement personnel and calling on Congress to join them in tempering anti-police rhetoric that is jeopardizing the safety of law enforcement. Joining AG Marshall and other attorneys general in the letter were the Western States Sheriffs Association and the Southwestern Border Sheriffs Association.
“As the chief law enforcement officers of our states, along with law enforcement partners, we write to express our unwavering support for law enforcement across the country and to ask for your assistance in tempering the anti-police rhetoric that is jeopardizing the safety of our officers. We especially rely on you, as leaders of the most important legislative body in the world, to discourage 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 tragic and preventable death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers shined a national spotlight on bad actors within the law-enforcement profession. At the same time, data simply does not support claims that law enforcement is systemically racist or structurally biased. Despite the lack of available evidence to support the anti-police narrative, it proliferates and has spawned radical reactions such as the current calls to “defund the police,” as well as increases in violence against police—ranging from assaults to murders.”
“Recent history confirms that when myths about the police are not strongly repudiated by our nation’s leaders, law-enforcement officers lose their lives. In 2016, following a national campaign against law enforcement—like what we are experiencing today—the number of officers shot and killed in the line of duty increased by 56% in that year alone. Twenty-one of those deaths were ambush-style shootings of law enforcement officers. Who can forget the five officers murdered in attacks in Dallas, Texas, and the three officers murdered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in only a ten-day period? In recent weeks of national unrest, 750 officers have already been injured defending their communities from the violence that has swept our country. Two members of the law enforcement community have already lost their lives.”
“In closing, it is possible to support law enforcement and also speak out against the actions of those individuals who dishonor the badge. These two concepts are not mutually exclusive and is why there has been virtually no support from law enforcement of the horrific decisions made by the officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s death. Individuals, including members of Congress, are dangerously fanning the flames of emotion by tacitly or explicitly supporting the “Defund the Police” (or worse) movement. These comments are inciting chaos through the myth that Americans will be better off without the “thin blue line”—law enforcement—that stands between society and anarchy. Ultimately, it is the prerogative of cities and states to choose the best course of action for their citizens. As for us, we stand with law enforcement and for a safer future for all Americans.”