Message to All NAPO Members and Supporters About the Ferguson, Missouri IncidentAugust 20, 2014
To All NAPO Members and Supporters:
First off, thank you for all the messages of support for NAPO and more importantly for Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson. We have been fielding interviews from not just the U.S. but around the world. Just today we had interviews and phone conversations with reporters from the BBC, Stars and Stripes (US Military)(twice), ABC News, CNN, the National Law Journal and the Huffington Post, and Cox Media. In all these interviews, our overall theme is this: “We don’t know all the facts yet surrounding the shooting, no one does, but we insist on the need to defend the rights of the officer, even when we don’t have enough facts to yet comment on the cause of the shooting itself.” Having said that, the more facts that come out, the more they seem to corroborate the officer’s position.
Late yesterday afternoon, our president, Tom Nee took a personal phone call from the Attorney General regarding this case. NAPO was the only group to go one on one with the AG like this. We also participated (see below) in a group meeting as well. We’ve also been in contact with the VP’s office as well, and also with our own member group on the ground in St. Louis, the St. Louis Police Leadership Organization. These discussions have helped to guide our response to the federal actions.
Yesterday, we also had a phone conversation with Attorney General Holder along with leadership from other national police groups. NAPO’s position was respectful but very firm, there needs to be a thorough and fair investigation of this case, and the facts of the case need to be followed wherever they lead. This investigation cannot be driven by the media nor by the violent idiots on the street chanting “time to kill a cop!” We pointed out our concern that the federal DOJ was sending prosecutors from its Civil Rights Division, not just investigators, to Missouri. Also, the President in his remarks the night before, publicly called it an ongoing “criminal federal civil rights investigation.” Today, the governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, who was once an elected state attorney general but as far as we can tell never actually prosecuted a case in the courtroom, publicly called for a “vigorous” criminal prosecution of the officer. His own Lieutenant Governor had the guts to publicly tell him he’s wrong.
All of this before any one of the (at least three) current pending investigations are complete!
After quietly working behind the scenes, we are also now going more public via the media and our own social communications to get our points out there:
- No one yet knows all the facts in this case.
- The more facts that do come out, the more they seem to justify the officer.
- For a week now violent outsiders and the media in Missouri have been promoting their own agendas.
- Their agendas don’t include due process for the officer, nor a full, fair and impartial discovery of the facts.
- Knee jerk reactions and comments don’t truly help anyone in this case.
- Don’t jump the gun by calling this “criminal” when it’s not known to be.
- Don’t send in prosecutors who justify their salary by criminally prosecuting police officers when what’s needed are investigators, not prosecutors.
- We do need public statements by our elected officials that they will follow the facts in the case wherever they lead, and whatever they show, and that they will not be led by the media, nor pushed by violence.
- EVERYBODY in this case is entitled to due process in this country, and that includes THE OFFICER.
- The media frenzy has become like a forest fire where it reaches the point where it drives itself. It is also just as damaging for the people whose lives are involved.
- The media is obsessed with this case not because they know all the facts (see point one) but because of the ACCUSATION of bad facts against the police. The initial ACCUSATION of shooting a surrendering suspect was so serious and malignant that it drew tremendous attention, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THE ACCUSATION IS TRUE!