A Nebraska state senator let loose with his feelings about law enforcement at a legislative hearing on gun bills, when he compared police officers to the terrorist organization ISIS.
Democrat State Sen. Ernie Chambers’ fiery comments were exposed by Nebraska Watchdog group and raised a storm of protest in social media.
“My ISIS is the police,” Chambers said at the hearing Friday. “The police are licensed to kill us – children, old people.”
— Jessica Chasmar (@JessicaChasmar) March 25, 2015
Chambers was apparently trying to draw a correlation between the mass genocide committed by the Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria with the tension between police and residents in the high-crime section of Omaha he represents.
“Nobody from ISIS ever terrorized us as a people as the police do daily,” he said.
According to Watchdog, the senator could have been recalling a specific incident from 2013, where four police officers were fired amid allegations of excessive force, evidence tampering and police cover-up.
Maybe, just maybe, Chambers could have gotten away with his incendiary comments given Omaha’s history of racial turbulence, if he had let his disturbing statement end there.
Instead, he doubled-down and insinuated that he would carry a gun for the purpose of shooting a cop.
“If I was going to carry a weapon, it wouldn’t be against you, it would be against these people who come here that I might have a dispute with. Mine would be for the police,” he said.
“And if I carried a gun I’d want to shoot him first and then ask questions later, like they say the cop ought to do.”
Chambers has since tried to backpedal his comments — after Watchdog brought them to light.
“I’m not advocating that anybody, especially anybody in the community, go out and shoot people,” he said in an interview.
Chambers’ ‘explanation’ has come too late for local officials and law enforcement who’ve come out strong to condemn his violent rhetoric.
Nebraska attorney general Doug Peterson called it the most offensive statement by a public official he’s ever heard, and the head of Nebraska’s police union accused Chambers of making a terrorist threat.
On Wednesday, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer issued the following statement:
The comments that Sen. Ernie Chambers made today at the Nebraska Unicameral are not only reprehensible but are completely without merit. The comments are unbecoming of a state senator and have brought no value to the discussion of police community relations. I stand with my Omaha Police officers as they are hardworking dedicated professionals.
Apparently the long-time senator is not new to spewing these sorts of heated ramblings. And according to Watchdog, the local press has become rather immune, maybe even amused by it.
Unfortunately for the senator, local radio host Coby Mach was not so amused and called out Chambers during his program.
“How does anybody get away with something like this?” Mach said to his audience Monday.
“I’m appalled by that kind of statement. Senator Chambers seems to be wanting to incite violence,” he said.
Mach’s listeners called in and were outraged by the senator’s statements as well as the lack of press covering it.
As the story slowly began to draw national attention, social media users weighed in too:
LOCK THIS NUTCASE UP! Nebraska Leftist Sen. Ernie Chambers compares police to ISIS, says he’d shoot a cop http://t.co/N4ApxblOeZ
— Peni Basse (@pmbasse) March 26, 2015
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) March 26, 2015
UPDATE: Local leaders are demanding an apology from State Sen. Ernie Chambers after he compared police to ISIS. http://t.co/DGHK2JGTv9
— WOWT 6 News (@WOWT6News) March 26, 2015
— Mental Ammo (@MentalAmmo) March 25, 2015
— Christy Bennett (@raisingjustice) March 26, 2015
— Mental Ammo (@MentalAmmo) March 25, 2015
— Cole Phelps (@ColePhelps_1247) March 25, 2015
Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers could never serve & protect because he only serves himself. He is a disrespectful old hack!
— DC Frank Carter (@DCFrankCarter) March 25, 2015
— First Noel (@NHolmstedt) March 26, 2015
Remember Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers People like you will not get away with this anymore. Says he will shoot cops pic.twitter.com/McSUDmCl1R
— Je Suis en Colère (@Patriotic_Me) March 25, 2015
Thanks to Watchdog groups, and savvy social media users that might be true.
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