The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus asked Michigan State Police director to resign following her statement in which she defended the American flag and the military.
The 23 lawmakers demanded Gov. Rick Snyder to fire Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue if she refused to resign.
Etue wrote on her Facebook page condemning the players who protested the anthem calling them, “millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans” and “a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates.”
NFL players and coaches last week protested the anthem by kneeling or not even appearing on the field during the national anthem, which resulted in even more drama surrounding the NFL.
Etue made those comments on her private Facebook page and only people who are her friends could see it. She defended her post on Tuesday when Progress Michigan asked her to resign.
“When such a high-ranking member of law enforcement feels compelled to share such broad, inaccurate, and shameful comments, their judgment can no longer be trusted to help protect Michigan’s diverse communities,” Lonnie Scott, the organization’s executive director, said. “Let’s set something straight: these protests are not about the flag or about veterans or the military, they are about speaking out against police brutality and injustice in communities of color across America. That is something that law enforcement should take to heart, not use to try to divide us further.”
“It was a mistake to repost this meme on Facebook and I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended. I will continue my focus on unity at the Michigan State Police and in communities across Michigan.”
“As a public servant, Col. Etue has great respect for the armed forces and those who fight to protect our freedoms,” a spokesperson for the colonel said to the Detroit Free Press, saying Etue’s post had nothing to do with race.
“Etue did not create the post,” Banner added. “It’s a meme that is posted in other places around the Internet,” she said.
Her post brought a lot of controversies, some Members of the Michigan Senate defended her and some called for her to step down:
“It is clear that Col. Etue does not understand the nature of the protests, nor respect the First Amendment rights of protesters,” Democratic Rep. Sheldon Neeley, the head of the Legislative Black Caucus, said. “This calls into question her ability and objectivity to lead the men and women in her department who are charged with not just enforcing laws, but also protecting and serving people of color … She’s not sorry for her position, just that she posted it.”
“How can she continue to do this job,” Democrat Sen. Vincent Gregory said. “If this had been an everyday officer, they would have been terminated. If we just let this go, what does this say about the state of Michigan, what does it say about the state police?”
But GOP Sen. Rick Jones stood up for her saying she has “worked hard for diversity.”
“Now she’s coming under fire for sharing a meme on her private Facebook page. She has the same first amendment rights as do the players who take a knee during the national anthem,” he continued.
Michigan’s governor also supported her and said Etue shouldn’t worry about her job.
“She has served with distinction as an outstanding public servant for decades,” Anna Heaton, Snyder’s spokesperson, said. “The Governor will not be asking her to resign.”
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