LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has received the endorsement from the Kentucky Fraternal Order of the Police.
The endorsement was made by Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue, who also serves as President of the Kentucky FOP, during a morning news conference in Lexington Tuesday.
"The candidate we have chosen is, and has for many years, been a champion and supporter of law enforcement," said Perdue. "He has always been a defender of the Constitution and an advocate for law enforcement."
While accepting the endorsement, the Senate Majority Leader said law enforcement "has always been an issue," but it's "been on full display" this year, citing recent protests across the country.
McConnell says most officers are good people, but there are a few bad apples (he uses the George Floyd killing as an example.)— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) September 1, 2020
He calls the idea of defunding the police a nutty one.
He also mentions the Breonna Taylor case & says it’s still being investigated. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/I6ohnOrWnk
"I think that Kentuckians and Americans are intelligent enough to draw a distinction between peaceful protesting and constitutionally protected activity, and rioting and looting and tearing down statues," said Senator McConnell.
McConnell referred to the tearing down of statues of historical figures, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as "mindless behavior."
"The American people, I think, fully understand that most police officers are honest, upright people doing an extremely difficult job and enjoy our respect," said Senator McConnell.
McConnell also called efforts across the country to defund the police as a "nutty notion," implying it won't make communities safer.
"If you are in need of help and you're under assault, are you going to call a social worker? I think not," said Senator McConnell.
He says most officers are good people, but there are a few bad apples, citing the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis as an example. He also mentions the Breonna Taylor case and says it's still being investigated.
Senator McConnell also mentioned the JUSTICE Act, a bill introduced by Republican Senator Tim Scott that would improve and reform policing practices, accountability, and transparency. McConnell suggested that Senate Democrats wouldn't take up the bill because it included qualified immunity, which protects a government official from lawsuits alleging they violated a plaintiff's rights.
"If you lose qualified immunity ... it's going to be pretty hard to recruit a police officer," said Senator McConnell. "It seems to me... you've got two choices: you either don't take the job in the first place or if you're afraid you're going to be sued because you're trying to break up a fight, you don't get out of the car at all, in which case the fight continues."
Three names will be on the ballot for voters to decide who they want to represent Kentucky in the Senate. Along with Senator McConnell, voters can select Democrat Amy McGrath, a former U.S. Marine fighter pilot, to represent the state. Brad Barron, a farmer and businessman, has won the Libertarian nomination and will also be on the ballot.
Kentucky's Senate election is November 3.