CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield referred to police officers as homegrown terrorists in a tweet that is getting much attention.
Chief Taking the High Road
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney called the tweet, which compared police officers to terrorists “offensive.”
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Putney called the situation “hard to stomach.”
“When they go low, we go high,” he said. “I might not be able to hold people accountable, but the community can.”
Mayfield’s tweet was posted in March but was getting more attention during National Police Week, reported WSOCTV.
“Being black in America under number 45 has created homegrown terrorist wearing blue uniforms,” the tweet read.
— LaWana Mayfield (@lawanamayfield) March 26, 2018
The tweet was posted after an officer-involved shooting in Sacramento. An officer shot and killed a black man while responding to a call about break-ins. The suspect running from police and failing to comply with orders in the dark of night was not holding a weapon as thought when confronted.
CMPD officers said the tweet from Mayfield was inappropriate, especially as they are asking the City Council for a pay raise and are trying to recruit more officers.
Unifying or Dividing?
Moreover, Mayfield has been criticized for social media posts in the past. For example, last month, she shared an article about a conspiracy theory and questioned the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to the report.
When scrolling through her tweets over the past few months, staff at Law Enforcement Today felt many of them were polarizing and created division.
A petition called for her to resign but she said the post was taken out of context.
WSOCTV reached out to Mayfield for comment on the latest social media controversy but have yet to hear back.
In a hypocritical comment Thursday morning, she tweeted, “I have and continue to be one of the strongest supporters of law enforcement but I will NOT turn a blind eye to corruption, assaults, and the killings of unarmed black & brown people. If you are offended by my comments and not the situation YOU need to re-evaluate.”
Someone who uses violence, mayhem, and destruction — or the threat of those things — to coerce people or countries into taking a certain action is a terrorist. "I have defended good officers & I will NOT turn a blind eye to bad one's" #shameonthemedia4afalsenarrative
— LaWana Mayfield (@lawanamayfield) May 17, 2018
There is evidence the false narrative trumpeted by the Mayfield and adopted by others thrives. It was found in supportive comments from Robert Dawkins with SAFE Coalition NC.
“No, I don’t think so. And I’m not saying that all police are homegrown terrorists,” said Dawkins. “But her statement about the police and black people feeling terror from the police is a factual statement.”
“It is disheartening and disingenuine for you to see my pain at all of the injustice surrounding us as a divide. What racial bias, equity & bias, racial reconciliation training have you participated in? I hope you never have to feel the pain so many of us feel on a daily basis,” Mayfield tweeted Thursday night.
it is disheartening and disingenuine for you to see my pain at all of the injustice surrounding us as a divide. What racial bias, equity & bias, racial reconciliation training have you participated in? I hope YOU never have to feel the pain so many of us feel on a daily basis
— LaWana Mayfield (@lawanamayfield) May 17, 2018
“Honestly, there are people who share that view,” Councilman Braxton Winston said at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Awards Thursday night. “How do we bridge that gap?”
He did not speak for Mayfield but he said the police shooting in Sacramento also touched him.
“It was a very painful time when I saw that,” Winston said. “It disgusts me (about) that event in Sacramento—whether people will trust her (Mayfield) or not—that will be up to the people.”
Councilman Tariq Bokhari recorded a Facebook Live prior to attending the event to express his feelings, and he said police officers deserve more.
“They deserve better than that and they protect us on a daily basis,” Bokhari said. “We need to support them. We need to lift them up.”
(Councilman Tariq Bokhari’s response)
Charlotte-Mecklenburg FOP Lodge #9 Response
I’m sure you have anticipated a response from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #9 regarding your comments made on March 26th, 2018 stating “Being Black in America under #45 has created homegrown terrorist wearing blue uniforms. #AReckoningIsComing.”
I would like to know your intention for distributing that message through social media. What exactly did you intend to gain from such a ridiculous statement? Please, educate me!
Being the President of Charlotte Mecklenburg FOP Lodge #9 and a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer for almost twenty-four years I understand that I am held to a higher standard than other citizens. My actions AND words are critically analyzed every single minute of my day. You need to be held to just as high of a standard as I am. You were elected as a City of Charlotte leader.
FOP Lodge #9 has been working tirelessly over the past several months to work with Charlotte City Council to improve the compensation and benefits of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officers. With the release of this statement by you, it takes away from the focus that we have worked on so hard to bring forward.
To make this incident even more unbearable, I heard about this yesterday while traveling back from Washington, D.C. after participating in the National Peace Officer’s Memorial Service. During a time when we focus on Peace Officers who gave their lives for the citizens, community, and Country I am forced to respond to this statement.
Are you seriously labeling all Peace Officers as terrorists? If so, you are also classifying all those Peace Officers, their parents, spouses, children, and relatives as terrorists. To say the least, you have upset the entire law enforcement community on this ridiculous statement. We are a family and when offended, we are all offended.
I would love to discuss this with you further and invite you to one of our membership meetings. We hold meetings on the first Tuesday of each month with the next one being Tuesday June 5th, 2018 at 6:00 pm.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg FOP Lodge 9
More Caustic Comments
Mayfield wasn’t the only politician making caustic comments. Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Tuesday called the National Rifle Association “just shy of a terrorist organization.”
“The NRA is kind of just shy of a terrorist organization,” the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman told HuffPo. “They have done everything they can to perpetuate the culture of violence that we have in our country with the spread of assault weapons across the nation.”
Words Lead to Actions
So equating law enforcement and armed citizens as terrorists seems to be the new leftwing buzzwords. Sadly, there is no end in sight as the war of words spread to thoughts and actions making the role of a police officer in America increasingly difficult.
Finally, we have to wonder if comments like Mayfield’s lead people to flat out lie regarding interactions with police:
- SON OF DENVER MAYOR CAUGHT SLURRING OFFICER
- BODY CAM VIDEO REBUFFS ACCUSATIONS OF RACISM
- BODY CAM VIDEO CONTRADICTS NAACP PRESIDENT’S RACIAL PROFILING CLAIMS
You be the judge. But one thing we know is that most citizen complaints against police officers are unfounded. Now with body cams in service (by public demand) everyone gets a chance to see what cops have been experiencing.