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Home Joseph Mensah ‘Kill With Disregard & Glee’: Sen. Chris Larson Slammed for ‘Dangerous Anti-Police...

‘Kill With Disregard & Glee’: Sen. Chris Larson Slammed for ‘Dangerous Anti-Police Rhetoric’ on Senate Floor

sen. chris larson

In debate on the Senate floor yesterday, during National Police Week, State Senator Chris Larson accused police officers of “shooting for sport,” and being “quick to pull the trigger,” according to a press release from two state senators, who are condemning the comments.

Early in the debate on SB 517, Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-6) talked about former Wauwatosa Officer Joseph Mensah, police misconduct payments made by the city of Milwaukee, and about the Milwaukee police officer who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton at Red Arrow Park. In both the cases of Mensah and Hamilton, the officers were exonerated by the Democratic district attorney. In addition, Mensah was exonerated a second time by two special prosecutors, including another Democratic district attorney, in one of the cases.

When Sen. Larson spoke, he referred to the officer who killed Hamilton as a “cowardly officer,” criticizing the fact the exonerated officer was able to “get off” because he “feared for his life.” It goes without saying that this is the exact definition of self-defense under state law.

Larson said, “If there are people who are supposed to be out protecting us and they find out they will be held liable for killing people who they are supposed to protect, and their response is to leave the force, then we are doing our job of rooting out the bad apples who are in it for the wrong reasons, because they think it is a sport to shoot at our neighbors and not to protect and to serve.”

Larson continued that if the bill were to become law, it would allow police officers to ‘kill with disregard and glee.”

You can hear Larson’s comments here:

“Senator Larson went on to say that if the bill were to become law, it would allow police officers to ‘kill with disregard and glee,” state Sen. Jesse James (R-Altoona) and Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) said in a press release. Van Wanggaard is a former police officer and Police and Fire Commissioner. James is a former police chief.

“While a murdered police officer from his city was being remembered and honored by his family in Washington DC for the ultimate sacrifice, Chris Larson launched into vile anti-police claims misrepresenting facts and perpetuating lies about policing. It’s despicable,” Van Wanggaard said.

“In my 50 years of law enforcement and oversight experience, I have worked with, talked with and met with hundreds or thousands of dedicated men and women. Not a single one acts in the way Senator Larson claims. His dangerous anti-police rhetoric cannot be allowed to stand. He owes an apology to the thousands of law enforcement officers who keep him and us safe. Senate Democrats and Governor Evers should be made to answer if they agree with Larson that police officers ‘kill with disregard and glee,'” he added.

Senator Larson “insulted me and my fellow law enforcement officers that put our lives on the line every day, as well as our families. His comments show that he has no understanding about what it is like to be in a position where you might have to take a life in self-defense. I am amazed by the senator’s continual, incorrect jabs at those of us that carry the badge,” James said.

The debate “took place on a bill that would protect police officers who credibly acted in self-defense from multiple ‘John Doe’ investigations for the same incident. You can hear Senator Larson’s full remarks on Wisconsin Eye (1:57:32). Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) also sent a letter to Minority Leader Diane Hesselbein, asking her and her colleagues to condemn Larson’s statements,” the release says.

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