There is a controversy in Durham where Police Chief Jose Lopez is accused of making a vile statement about a public defender. Lopez allegedly stated that the public defender deserved to be shot in a crime because he representing accused criminals. If true, Lopez would appear to not only agree with Dick in Henry IV that “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”
The alleged statement was disclosed in an equal-employment complaint against the city by Durham assistant police chief, Winslow Forbes. Forbes has accused Lopez of mistreatment of black officers.
The alleged comment came on July 2 in relation to a late-June shooting in Durham. According to Forbes, the chief told subordinates he intended to say all the recent shooting victims were black and had been involved in criminal activity. When a subordinate noted that the lawyer was not involved in criminal activity, Lopez is quoted as saying that the lawyer deserved to get shot because he was a public defender.
A review is under way. Regrettably, the view expressed in the statement is all too familiar to criminal defense attorneys. People often express such hatred for attorneys without thinking of what it would be like if police could simply decide guilt or the many cases where innocent men or women were accused of crime. It is a particularly dangerous view however when held by a Chief of Police if the allegation is proven correct.
If verified, what should be the punished for such a statement by a police chief in your view?
Source: Herald Sun