A controversial and threatening open letter to the public written by the president of a Kentucky police union last week not only has forced the police chief and mayor to go into extreme damage control but has enraged citizens calling for his termination.
In fact, about 100 activists surrounded the Louisville Metro Police Department today, calling for the firing of Sergeant Dave Mutchler, forcing police to lock their doors out of fear the citizens would take the protest inside.
These are probably the exact people Mutchler, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in River City, was addressing in his letter, placing “on notice” those “sensationalists, liars and race-baiters” and those citizen with “ridiculous demands and anti-law enforcement attitude.”
In other words, those who are calling police accountability.
He even threatened anybody who does not comply with police orders with physical violence.
“If you refuse to comply or even worse, attack a law enforcement officer, expect to be met with force,” Mutchler stated in his letter, which he published Wednesday.
Here is Mutchler’s statement in it’s entirety:
Consider this an open letter to the public we serve, the criminal element in our city, and the self appointed spokespersons who choose to remain blind to reason, who use misinformation and who sensationalize tragedy at every opportunity to forward their political agendas.
Know this: The members of River City FOP Lodge 614, who serve and protect Louisville every day, will no longer stand on the sidelines while anyone continues to assault and demonize us.
To those of you that support us while we serve and protect you — Thank You. Although you are not chosen for media interviews, we know that you understand we are here for you and your families. We know that the vast majority of you see that ninety-nine percent of police officers serve with integrity and courage. Although we know in our hearts that you are the silent majority, sadly, that may not be enough. Soon, we may have to ask for you to rise with us against the small, but very vocal group of people in our city who resist everything we all strive to attain — freedom, safety and the ability to live our lives happily and without fear.
To the criminal element in our community-we do not fear you. We are not your punching bag and we will not simply stand by and accept your verbal or physical assaults. No matter what craziness occurs, we will always protect our citizens and ourselves. No matter how weak our criminal justice system, we will hunt you down again and again until they put you away or you go away. No matter how weak our policies we will find a way to make you understand that Louisville isn’t where you want to live. Most importantly, though, take note of the following: If you actively resist or assault us, we will use every option available to take you into custody. If you use deadly force against us or use or attempt to use a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon against us, we will use deadly force against you and we WILL stop the threat to us, our fellow officers or the citizens we serve.
To the sensationalists, liars and race-baiters —we are done with you. At first it was good enough just to sit back and watch your ridiculous spectacle. No more. Now your rhetoric, lies and hate puts all of us, police officers and citizens alike, in danger. From now on we will call you out each and every time you tell a lie, twist the truth or otherwise engage in vile behavior meant to push your selfish agendas. If your behavior or untruths causes harm to us or the public, we will make every attempt to have you investigated, charged and prosecuted at the local, state or federal level. Your idiocy and lies are what caused the destruction in Ferguson and other cities around our country and we won’t be tolerating that here. We watched in shock most recently as some of you flat out lied to the media after a critical incident here in Louisville. Many in the media are self serving too, and we watched as they stood on the sidelines and fanned the flames for financial gain.
Your flawed logic and lack of reason regarding events that occur in our society makes you appear stunningly inept. Let me help you. All citizens in Louisville, regardless of race, creed, color, gender or national origin have the SAME rights and responsibilities. No one gets a separate set of rules. Politicians may fear you and your tactics-we do not. You and those you enable must abide by the law and comply with law enforcement like everyone else. If you refuse to comply or even worse, attack a law enforcement officer, expect to be met with force.
Your ridiculous demands and anti-law enforcement attitude has reached a level that is unacceptable. You want our attention? Well you have it. Consider yourselves on notice. We challenge you to have the same integrity and dedication to serving the community that you say you seek in the police. We already have it. You need to get it.
On behalf of the members of RCFOP Lodge 614,
Naturally, the extraordinarily aggressive letter was met with a resounding “wtf” from, well, pretty much everyone.
It received so much attention and backlash, that late Friday evening Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Police Chief Steve Conrad issued a joint statement distancing themselves as far as possible from Mutchler’s sentiments.
“Mr. Mutchler, in separate phone calls with both of us prior to his news conference, said he was seeking to clarify his position, strike a constructive tone, and emphasize that no person of good will should feel threatened in our city. After listening to his press conference remarks, we remain very concerned that Mr. Mutchler, with the leadership position he holds, does not understand the impact of the tone of his remarks and original letter. ,” the statement asserted.
Mutchler immediately fired back, telling local station WLKY, “There is no one in the community or country who should feel the least bit threatened by anything that I’ve written in this letter.”
“The threatening tone is not representative of the vast majority of our officers or our citizens – and many have told us that they have a significantly differently view than Mr. Mutchler. His words do absolutely nothing to help build community-police relations and undermine the noble and difficult work our police do every day, from keeping us safe and secure in our homes to protecting our First Amendment right to speak our minds.” Conrad and Fischer’s statement continued on to say.
Still, Mutchler maintains that he was speaking for the officers’ who cannot express the same tone as it would violate department policy.
“We all have different roles. And my role is to represent the members, because they often times can’t and are forbidden by policy in a lot of cases from speaking out. It’s my job to make sure that people know how they feel about certain things. That’s what I did. That’s my role,” Mutchler said.
He also refused to acknowledge that his letter drove a wedge in the community.
“It’s almost irresponsible to say there’s a divide between the police and the community. I need somebody to break that down for me. What is that divide? Because if we don’t know what it is, then we can’t fix it,” Mutchler stated.
If you would like to explain it to him, you may contact River City FOP Lodge 614 at (502) 968-0117.