After criticizing the six Caddo Commissioners for voting down a resolution to recognize National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Sheriff Steve Prator received the following email from Commissioner Roy Burrell, one of the six Democrats who voted against the proposal.
Dear Sheriff Prator,
I hope you are doing well. I received a report on your reaction and response to the “no vote” on Resolution #6, sponsored by former Commission President Mario Chavez, while vacationing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming last week. Needless to say, it did disturb me a bit but I can understand how it could have been misinterpreted by you, given your passion for your law enforcement employees.
So let me share my position on the matter for whatever it is worth. Resolution #6, to recognize January 26 as “National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day” should have been previously vetted by Mr. Chavez with all Commissioners to determine their support for the measure, just as most are if there has been unrest detected from various members. I feel it was naive of him but also somewhat political in nature. Also Commissioner Hopkins has also denied black Democrat Commissioners through resolution by Commissioner Epperson, the opportunity to weigh in on the horrible tragedy to our nation that just had happened on June 6, orchestrated by our own POTUS Trump and his right-wing political allies, including homegrown terrorists.
Obviously from your reaction, it was also a bit naive and political to think that the black Democrat Commissioners would not oppose such a national recognition given that the FBI reported that a number of local, state and national law enforcement, military officers and veterans took part in President Trump’s ill-motivated government take-over by insurrection and treasonous acts in DC. In addition, it is also well documented the unwarranted killing of unarmed black people across this nation by rogue law enforcement which has caused unprecedented unrest and protest “worldwide“.
Unfortunately, many white folks think black folks are not patriotic to this country given its tumultuous and troubling history of discrimination, racism and slavery—but we are! Also, I was quite disturbed as an elected State Democrat Official (just as you in the Republican Party) to hear your interview on the conservative talk show KEEL Radio, not pointing us out as black elected officials but Democrat officials, which apparently and strategically meant to be a not-so subtle partisan “dog whistle” call to the local radical ReTrumplican base. A political base that 75% supported the Capitol insurrection, and one that you and Commissioner Chavez are rumored to be a part. But that is your political choice my friends!
As longtime friends, we have supported one another, and sometimes differed on issues of major concern, and even our politics. But I have NEVER been unappreciative of your service to this community, indicative by the millions of dollars appropriated at your request in city, state and now parish government. So why would you question that I would not support our local law enforcement without reason? A question easily answered, even if Mr. Chavez failed to ask it earlier. That seems politically biased toward the other black Democrat Commissioners and me.
As you have made clear to me when earlier trying to rebuild a broken, if not strained relationship with the Commission. You honestly said: “I am an elected by the people, so I do not have to report to the Commission”. That is understandable but not the POINT! But you as Sheriff, our highest law enforcement official and our Caddo Parish Homeland Security Director, it would serve us both well, and those we ALL serve, that WE keep the lines of communications open for the ‘common good”, and not for political expediency. To live together, WE must HEAL this LAND!
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