This Nebraska Senator Compares Police To ISIS, Suggests He’d Shoot a Cop

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A Nebraska state senator compared American police to Islamic terrorists and suggested he’d shoot a cop if only he had a weapon.

State Sen. Ernie Chambers said during a legislative hearing on March 20 that you don’t have to go halfway around the world to find an ISIS mentality. It can be found in America because police terrorize blacks every day.  He was referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has beheaded journalists and brutally executed Westerners and others.

“My ISIS is the police,” Chambers, an independent, said, adding police can get away with shooting people if they “think” they’re going to do something — like pull a weapon.

“The police are licensed to kill us — children, old people,” he said.

A protester marches though Macy's store chanting "Hands up, don't shop" in support of the late Michael Brown in New YorkNebraska’s longest serving senator, Chambers represents north Omaha, a high-crime area where racial tension simmers and sometimes erupts after encounters with police.
In March 2013, for example, police threw a man to the ground and pummeled him while 32 police officers stormed a home across the street, in response to a parking complaint.
Four police officers were fired amid allegations of excessive force, evidence tampering and a police cover-up.
“I wouldn’t go to Syria, I wouldn’t go to Iraq, I wouldn’t go to Afghanistan, I wouldn’t go to Yemen, I wouldn’t go to Tunisia, I wouldn’t go to Lebanon, I wouldn’t go to Jordan, I would do it right here,” Chambers, who is black, said. “Nobody from ISIS ever terrorized us as a people as the police do us daily.”
Chambers then added fuel to the fire, saying if he had a gun, he would use it on police, not his political opponents.

“If I was going to carry a weapon, it wouldn’t be against you, it wouldn’t 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.”

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has called for Chambers to issue a public apology following the controversial comments. Ricketts called the comments, “unacceptable” and tweeted his support for law enforcement. He encourages Nebraskans to tweet their support as well.

While many have defended Chambers right to free speech, several others have called on Chambers to resign.  Mayor Jean Stothert’s office released the following statement:

“Senator Chambers’ attack on police officers shows total disregard for public safety. Why would any elected official state if he had a gun he would shoot a police officer? The Senator should be looking for ways to improve public safety, not comparing police officers to terrorists. He owes an apology not only to Omaha Police Officers but to every citizen of Omaha.”

Attorney General Doug Peterson issued the following statement Wednesday night, “Senator Chambers recent comments comparing local police officers to “his ISIS….” and that he would shoot a police officer and ask questions later, are absolutely the most offensive statement I have ever heard made by a public official. Law enforcement officers put their life on the line every day to protect all of us. Both the officers and their families deserve our utmost respect, appreciation and support. They also deserve an apology from Chambers.”


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About Author

Leland Ivy

Leland Ivy grew up in Georgia and Tennessee. He has worked for several members of Congress and most recently worked in 2014 to take back a Southern California Congressional District. Leland has a variety of interests including running, CrossFit, lifting weights, and flying private airplanes.

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