Atlanta, GA — Independent fact checkers found that Kelly Loeffler’s claim about Reverend Warnock intentionally misrepresents his comments following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Here are the facts:
An independent fact checker confirmed that Loeffler took Warnock’s comments out of context:
- “Loeffler… leav[es] out that his comments were specific to the circumstances surrounding the death of Michael Brown, a young Black man who was shot and killed in 2014 by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. His campaign said he wasn’t referring to all officers.” [FactCheck.org]
Warnock has praised police officers and spoken out against efforts to demonize them.
- Warnock said there could be police reform “and at the same time appreciate the good work that our police officers do”:
WARNOCK: “Listen, I do not think that we should defund the police, and I have never said that…What we could use a Senator doing is putting forward the kind of reform that we need in our criminal justice system. We need to get rid of qualified immunity, we need an independent review process when civilians die at the hands of the police. We can do that and at the same time appreciate the good work that our police officers do.” [Georgia Senate Special Election Debate, Georgia Public Broadcasting/Atlanta Press Club, C-SPAN, 10/19/20]
- Warnock said we shouldn’t demonize the law enforcement community:
WARNOCK: “Finally in this moment in which we see every few days what’s been going on a long time. But now we have cameras as we deal with the justice issues and relations between communities of color, poor communities and the law enforcement community. And we don’t demonize either and we shouldn’t say either because people of color are in law enforcement and they’re members of our church and they serve in various ways on our staff. But we are concerned about this issue of justice, social justice and mass incarceration is a thing, as I’ve said, that’s really driving the issues we see around police brutality.” [Ebenezer Baptist Church Sermon, 7/31/16]
- Warnock said “we need police officers and a lot of our members and our family members serve on the police department. This is not a broad stroke indictment or police officers.”
WARNOCK: Thank God for our men and women in uniform. We need police officers and a lot of our members and our family members serve on the police department. This is not a broad stroke indictment or police officers, but those who are sworn to protect are to protect. Now I heard that brother as they brought him down and the choke hold has been illegal for 20 years. Say ‘I can’t breathe.’ Did you hear him? ‘I can’t breathe.’ That was somebody’s child. I can’t breathe. That was somebody’s husband. I can’t breathe. That was somebody’s father. I can’t breathe. And when I heard him, I didn’t just hear him. I heard tens and hundreds of thousands of brown and black men and women all across the United States of America who are saying, ‘I can’t breathe. You’ve got me in a choke hold.’” [YouTube, Raphael Warnock A Holy Hijacking, 7/29/14]
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