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Manchester Chief: 'Vitriol' From Obama, Media Led to Violence Against Officers

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard says vitriol directed at law enforcement from the White House, politicians, and the media is to blame for putting officers' lives in danger.

"I often push back against the media and politicians portraying LE (law enforcement) as killers of young black men, as if we do so systematically, and even the administration in the White House seems to feed that narrative," Willard said, in aletter to officers in his department reflecting on the shooting in Dallas in which five officers were killed.

"I've said such vitriol toward LE is going to bring the crazy out of people and place police officers lives in jeopardy, well, here are are."

The shooting and killing of two African-American men by white police officers last week prompted mostly peaceful protests across the nation.

The Dallas shooting was allegedly perpetrated by  25-year-old Micah Johnson, who said he was angered by the recent shootings and was targeting white people and white officers. He was killed following negotiations.

In his letter to Manchester officers, Willard said he's been warned by the FBI  about possible copycat attacks and cautioned officers to be vigilant.

"The FBI is monitoring social media across the country for any threats that are being stated," he said. 

Willard says he is "heartbroken, angry and fearful for each and every one of you as you seek to do nothing more than to protect the law abiding."

"I am beyond grateful for your continued commitment in spite of what has been going on across the country," he adds. "I am honored to be your chief and share in your shock and grief about those officers in Dallas. Know that I support you explicitly and that support will never wane. In fact, it will only be bolstered by such events."

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.
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