PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — James Pasco, the Executive Director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, spoke out against accusations made by FBI Director James Comey that a ‘Ferguson Effect’ has placed more scrutiny on police, made it more difficult for them to do their jobs and has increased the acceptance of violence against law enforcement.
Pasco, talking with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, said Comey was wrong and should’ve considered the ramifications of making such a statement.
“While we respect the fact that everyone, including the FBI Director is entitled to his opinion, he’s got to bear in mind that when he gives his opinion off the cuff and uninformed though it may be, people take it very seriously. He has to learn that unless he’s got the facts and the perspective to back it up, he should probably avoid the issue.”
He insisted that the increased attention on police practices only focuses officers on completing the tasks before them.
“The ubiquitous nature of cell phone cameras and all kinds of communications and photography devices out there does have an effect of police officers in a sense that it heightens their stress and the feeling that they’re going to be second guessed, potentially, in the course of their jobs. But, police officers are a little contrarian. When you start putting the pressure on police officers they usually respond by saying the hell with you, I’m going to do my job in spite of you and maybe, in that respect, we’re our own worst enemy. We don’t let people get to us. They don’t see any consequence for irresponsible comment, for irresponsible accusations, for demeaning police officers as they attempt to protect.”
Pasco also rejected accusations that the Black Lives Matter movement promotes violence against officers.
“The goal of Black Lives Matter is to bring focus to the fact that a lot of black Americans are killed in violent circumstances, and that’s a matter of fact. There are those that would associate themselves with Black Lives Matter who’ve made very irresponsible statements, but the leadership of that organization disavows them and we take them at their word.”