Sunday, July 10, 2016


ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota's largest labor union serving law enforcement across the state is calling Governor Dayton's recent comments following the shooting death of Philando Castile "unthinkable and irresponsible," and "reckless."
On Sunday, Sean Gormley, executive director of Law Enforcement Labor Services, released the following statement:
Last week’s tragic shootings in Dallas, Falcon Heights, Minn. and Baton Rouge have tested our emotions, our faith and our resolve as a community and a nation. Difficult issues are justifiably being confronted and tensions are running high.
Thorough and impartial investigations of these incidents are essential to ensure and preserve the public trust in law enforcement. Indeed, the families and loved ones personally affected by these tragedies deserve no less.
However, the fact that Governor Dayton would disregard this investigatory process and use the power of his office to share a premature and unsupported conclusion about the shooting of Mr. Castile just hours after his death is unthinkable and irresponsible.
Further, in light of the fatal shootings of five Dallas police officers later the same day, amid heightened tensions across the entire nation, the governor’s comments could also be viewed as reckless.
As members of law enforcement, we understand there will always be questions when officers discharge their weapons and lives are lost. We acknowledge the anger and the demand for answers that these incidents can trigger.
As we all mourn the lives lost in these tragedies and seek a thoughtful dialogue on issues of race and law enforcement practices, the governor has unfortunately already chosen sides and cast judgment on all cops.
Police officers have a duty to protect and to serve all—including those who dislike or distrust cops. The governor’s comments have only deepened the divide between these groups and made our jobs more difficult and more dangerous.

We expect a great deal more from the holder of the highest office in the state of Minnesota.

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