April 21, 2017

Police union dispute Ricky Jones’ appointment to police oversight panel

Ricky Jones

Ricky Jones

By Kyeland Jackson —

Fraternal Order of Police President David Mutchler opposed considering U of L professor Ricky Jones to a police oversight panel, convincing an appointments committee table Jones’ appointment.

First reported by the Courier Journal, Mutchler said Jones’ voiced anti-police bias, citing Jones’ columns and opinions.

“He (Jones) has some viewpoints and opinions that he’s already formed and publicly spoken about regarding police officers,” Mutchler said. “When there were the tragic shootings in Dallas, some of the things that Mr. Jones said was that he believes the problem is deeper than deficiency in training and stems from long-held biases white officers have against black residents, particularly black men, viewing them as inherently violent and less-than-human.”

Jones, also U of L’s Pan-African Studies Chair, fired back via tweets.

“Apparently, Louisville FOP Prez. David Mutchler dislikes me. I’m honored to be disliked by one such as he. I don’t like him either,” Jones’ tweet said.

“I’m not “anti-police” but I’m definitely ‘anti-injustice.’ Police need to be responsible for wrong just like everyone else! This says a lot about people like Julie Denton and Dave Mutchler. They think I’m “anti-police”; I think they’re racist. So we’re even.”

In an exclusive interview with the Cardinal, Jones said he learned of Mutchler’s comments yesterday and defended against anti-police bias accusations.

“It’s a continuation of the type of behavior he’s (Mutchler’s) displayed over the years. If you look at my writing and you look at everything I’ve said, it is very clear I do not have an anti-police bias,” Jones said, explaining citizens should congratulate police doing right and challenge those doing wrong. “I was asked to serve, and my belief is: ‘You can’t criticize something if you’re not willing to serve. I look at this board, quite frankly, as one that probably needs a bit more teeth. So if I wanted to exercise some agenda, I’m not sure this board would be a great place to do it because I don’t know if it has that type of power.”

The panel reviews police shootings and advise the department on police policy. Jones also questioned Mutchler and Republican councilwoman Julie Denton’s motivations. Denton reportedly echoed Mutchler, saying Jones may not be a good fit for the panel.

“It’s another display of privilege that these types of people are very used to,” Jones said. “In the world they live in – more educated, peerless – they want safer, more tolerant and compliable black people in their midst. And when they don’t have them, they have a problem.”

Jones said the comments won’t deter him from the position.

“It makes me more adamant about something for the likes of Dave Mutchler. I think this is a man who at best is racially insensitive, at worst is an out-and-out racist who epitomizes the worst of law enforcement in our community and our country. And it seems that Julie Denton may be a person who purports that type of ideology.”

Jones has been vocal for many U of L controversies, including the removal of the confederate statue, James Ramsey and accreditation worries.

File photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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