Backlash over statement leads to Seattle police union president’s resignation

Jul 12, 2016, 8:31 AM | Updated: Jul 13, 2016, 12:29 pm
police union...
Seattle Detective Ron Smith will resign as president of the Seattle Police Officers' Union. (KIRO 7)
(KIRO 7)

President of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Ron Smith says he will resign July 31 over a controversial statement he made on social media, KIRO 7 reports.

“I posted out of emotion,” Smith explained. The post was supposed to be in support of Dallas police and in support of Dallas police, he added. “It was blown out of proportion.”

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild deleted its Facebook and Twitter accounts after a post regarding the Dallas shooting that left five officers dead drew criticism.

Related: Political response to deadly shootings inevitable, but is it effective?

The post read:

Dallas PD and their officers are in our thoughts and prayers…. The hatred of law enforcement by a minority movement is disgusting… Heads in swivels brothers and sisters…

“My words have been taken out of context, for that I am very sorry, and we have to move on,” Smith said.

KING 5 reports the statement led to nearly two dozen complaints of racial bias.

The Guild post was published right around the time the decision was made to have officers patrol in pairs as precaution.

Last week, Seattle council member Tim Burgess said “sometimes the police union leadership are their own worst enemies,” The Stranger reports. “They fire off these statements and then take them down. It’s terrible, because it reflects an inner cycle of thinking that is very negative and disrespectful.”

However, Burgess also says that Seattle officers deserve respect. He wrote on his blog on July 8: “These officers deserve our respect and gratitude and, in the aftermath of last night’s terror, our encouragement and support. They also deserve to be held to a high standard of behavior. I believe strong support and robust accountability go hand in hand.”

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Backlash over statement leads to Seattle police union president’s resignation