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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

Congresswoman Lawrence on Michigan State Police Director-“It’s Time for a Change”

September 29, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) issued the following statement on Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue’s  statement on Facebook concerning National Football League (NFL) protests against inequality and racial injustice:

“A statement posted on Etue’s Facebook page referenced the recent NFL protests and referred to those players in a manner that was extremely offensive, ill-informed, and grossly unfitting of anyone in our police force, let alone the state Police Director. Etue’s actions were not only inappropriate, but a disturbing indicator of the lack of unbiased judgement that is required from law enforcement leadership.

“The very point and purpose behind the NFL players taking a knee is to protest police brutality and to bring awareness to racial injustice.  While most of our police force truly serve, protect and respect their communities; racial disparities in the criminal justice system which disproportionately affect African Americans is a very real issue in this country and in the state of Michigan. Etue’s actions demonstrated that she is unaware or unmoved by the sense of outrage, vulnerability and fear among minorities toward the criminal justice system.    

“Etue’s expressions through the open space of her social media page calls into question her judgment and ability to fairly and justly perform her duties as the Director of Police when much of her words and actions in her professional capacity are far less public.  This is very concerning. 

“The people of Michigan deserve law enforcement officers who embody the motto “to serve and protect.” They deserve law enforcement leadership who can help to improve police-community relations, not further divide.

“While Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue did apologize for posting to her Facebook page, her apology was not an admission of wrongdoing nor for spreading these judgmental and ill-willed comments.  This behavior is far from what we should ever expect or tolerate from Michigan’s Police Director whose standard should be of the highest moral character.  There are times when change is inevitable; and there are times when change is imperative. It’s time for a change.”