The National Police Association on Wednesday slammed Congress’ investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as a politically motivated “dog and pony show” that has no intention of uncovering the truth of what really happened that day.
In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, association spokeswoman Betsy Brantner Smith, a retired police sergeant who describes herself as a conservative, said Congress should hear from the thousands of police officers who were injured during the George Floyd riots last year.
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“People need to see that police officers go through horrible things, and Jan. 6 was a horrible thing for some of those officers,” she said. “But, quite frankly, I find this whole Jan. 6 Commission, frankly, a dog and pony show. It doesn’t tell the whole story.”
“Myself, like millions of Americans, sat there watching the testimony thinking, ‘Wait, where are the police officers who appeared – appeared – to let some of the protesters in?” she asked. “Where is the police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt? In fact, why aren’t we talking about Ashli Babbitt? I mean there’s so much more here.”
Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., meets with the select committee on the Jan. 6 attack as they prepare to hold their first hearing Tuesday, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Monday, July 26, 2021.
Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., meets with the select committee on the Jan. 6 attack as they prepare to hold their first hearing Tuesday, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Monday, July 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Brantner Smith’s comments came the day after four law enforcement officers who responded to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol gave testimony to a House select committee about their experience.
Brantner Smith said those officers have been “politicized by Congress,” and that while their stories are important, the American public also deserves to hear the stories of the “more than 2,000” men and women in law enforcement who were injured during last year’s violent protests.
She cited a poll last week by the NPA and Rasmussen Reports that found 66% of likely U.S. voters think Congress should investigate the riots spurred by Floyd’s murder last May.
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“I want the American public to hear about that,” Brantner Smith told Fox News. “And based on our survey, the American public wants to hear about that. They want to hear the testimony. You know, we have a Las Vegas police officer who is still paralyzed from the Black Lives Matter riots. We have thousands of police officers around the country who are retiring because of post-traumatic stress because of the riots.
“The 2020 riots, we can’t just say the whole George Floyd thing was bad and that’s what cops have to deal with and then watch these four weeping men talk about their experiences, ignoring thousands and thousands of police officers, ignoring their feelings and their experiences and their injuries,” she said.
Brantner Smith also blasted the “defund the police” movement for dehumanizing law enforcement officers, and she argued the policies enacted allegedly for the purpose of saving Black lives are doing the opposite.
“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “I have some cops who would rather go back to Iraq than continue to work on the street, just because of the massive amounts of blood and bodies and everything they deal with that people don’t see.”
“It’s taking its toll,” she said. “We already had a police officer mental health crisis in this country before George Floyd, and now the uptick in police officer suicides is reaching a crisis level.”
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“The veracity of the defund the police movement is directly related to crime in that area,” she continued. “We’re not saving Black lives by defunding the police, by reimagining police, by vilifying the police. And that’s what I think is so disingenuous, and I think it’s confusing for people. Because I think a lot of Americans say, of course, black lives matter. I mean, who doesn’t believe that black lives matter? But yet these policies in the name of Black Lives Matter are actually killing more Black people, damaging the lives of Black people than the police ever have.”
“We’re reaching a tipping point and I think yesterday kind of woke some people up — I hope. I hope,” she said.