The following is a joint statement by Dr. William A. Donohue, President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and Rabbi Aryeh Spero, President, Caucus For America (Rabbi Spero can be reached at 212-252-6861):
We extend our heartfelt condolences to the grieving families of Officer Wenjian Liu and Officer Rafael Ramos, and express our continued support for the NYPD, America’s finest police force, a fair one, upon whose independence and physical security our safety depends.
We are distressed by the incendiary remarks made over the last few weeks by Al Sharpton, and the threats and chants coming from protesters against police, which have resulted in a hate-filled atmosphere that people of foresight understood could result in violence against police officers and other forms of destruction.
We equally are disappointed by some elected officials within the highest echelons of government who have made statements over the past several weeks that have sown resentment, discontent, and feelings of revenge against the police and our jury system. Such remarks were subtly, but intentionally, expressed to convey that minorities are victims of an unfair system stacked against them, that minorities have no recourse, and that America’s police forces are often guided by racism and hostile attitudes. The rhetoric of these officials has been irresponsible and provocative.
The American people, a fundamentally good and fair people, do not need Mr. Sharpton and others pontificating to us, continually chastising us and telling us who we are and what our values should be.
We urge the White House to stop using Al Sharpton as a spokesman and partner. His past agitations have hurt many good and innocent people.