Police Union Head Calls for Rejection of Federal Judge Nominee

Police Union Head Calls for Rejection of Federal Judge Nominee Police Union Head Calls for Rejection of Federal Judge Nominee Patrick Yoes, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police and captain of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office in Norco, Louisiana, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. (Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images)

By Solange Reyner | Thursday, 28 April 2022 05:42 PM

The head of the largest law enforcement fraternal organization in the nation says Nusrat Jahan Choudhury's nomination to serve as a U.S. district judge in the Eastern District of New York should be rejected based on her "false" statement that "cops kill unarmed Black men in America every single day."

Choudhury made the statement while participating as a panelist at Princeton University and, this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee verified that she said it.

"She did not deny making this blatantly false claim and stated that she made the statement in her 'role as an advocate' to make a 'rhetorical point,'" National Fraternal Order of Police President Patrick Yoes said in a statement.

"I was shocked that she unapologetically embraced this comment," he added.

"Our nation has a problem with hateful rhetoric now and it is getting worse. We see hateful speech directed at Jews in New Jersey and New York and it has translated into increasing violence targeting the Jewish community. Nationwide, hate speech denigrating Asian-Americans has led to an increase in violence against these communities. Brutal bias and hateful rhetoric aimed at law enforcement officers have led to the same — more officers were shot in the line of duty last year than any time since this data was first collected."

Choudhury, if confirmed, would be the first Muslim woman to serve as a federal judge. She is currently the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., took Choudhury to task for the statement during the hearing.

"Senator, I said it in my role as an advocate to make a rhetorical point," Choudhury said.

"So when you say something that's incorrect it's okay to excuse it by saying, 'Oh, I was being an advocate?'" Kennedy snapped. "What do you believe? Do you personally believe that cops kill unarmed Black men every single day in America?"

"Senator, I believe law enforcement have an important and challenging job in this country," Choudhury responded.

"That's not what you said though, Counselor," Kennedy pointed out.

Choudhury postured, "Senator, I say before you here today that I do believe law enforcement have a difficult and challenging job, and I also understand the difference between —"

"I just think that's an extraordinary statement to make with no data to back it up," Kennedy interjected. "None whatsoever. There's no basis for you saying that, and you knew it then and you know it now. How could one possibly believe that you're going to be unbiased on the federal bench?"

"Senator, I believe my record shows that I have worked collaboratively with law enforcement in Boston, Chicago, Mississippi, and Milwaukee to solve complex problems to promote constitutional, effective, and safe policing," Choudhury answered.

"Your record shows that you believe cops are guilty until proven innocent," Kennedy charged. "Your record shows that if a cop — if a cop shoots a criminal, it's the cop's fault, and if a criminal shoots a cop it's the gun's fault. I've read your record. I've read your record … and I don't appreciate you not answering the question straight up. I would respect you a lot more if you'd just tell us what you believe and not try to hide it."

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