TALENT, Ore. — “These politicians have for no reason fueled the fires of hatred towards their own police department,” said Chief Curtis Whipple, chief of the Rogue River Police Dept.
A bold statement by Whipple during a Talent City Council meeting last week.
He’s now calling on the mayor and a city council member to publicly apologize to their community or resign.
Whipple, who is now the chief of the Rogue River Police department, says Councilor Emily Berlant posted this to her personal Facebook, which was then ‘liked’ by Mayor of the city of Talent, Darby Ayers-Flood.
“The post made by Berlant was not eff Derek Chauvin the officer who senselessly murdered George Floyd. They were not eff the Minnesota Police Department where the incident occurred. They were not eff the officers who stood by and watched violence occurred. They were simply eff the police. This includes their own Talent Police Department,” said Chief Whipple.
At that same meeting, Councilor Berlant claims what Chief Whipple and others said to her was threatening.
“I will not be intimidated by you and you will not censor me,” she said.
Berlant acknowledges her choice of words were poor and emotionally charged. But says the explicit comment came while referencing an article she shared that was about unprovoked police violence against peaceful protestors.
“I refer fully to the system not any one individual,” she said. “We can value individual police officers and call for a change for the way we have done policing in this country.”
Berlant says it was written on her personal page and taken wildly out of context. She claims some people are creating a problem that doesn’t exist.
“I am proud to represent my community and I will not stand down,” Berlant said.
Chief Whipple is also standing by his response saying this was not a personal attack against Berlant, but he wants her to know words have consequences.
“Words have meaning and they generate actions. These actions inspired by words by Emily Berlant and Darby Ayers-Flood have the potential for hazardous effects on good officers in their own agencies and they must be held accountable for what they’ve done,” said Chief Whipple.
Councilor Berlant says she has since apologized via email to current Talent Police Chief Tim Doney.
She says she removed the Facebook post from her feed and will not be resigning.
Talent Mayor Darby Ayers-Flood, who liked the comment on Facebook, did not return our email for comment.