The chief of police in El Paso, Texas, labeled Black Lives Matter a “radical hate group” Friday night, blaming them for Thursday’s shooting in Dallas and calling on policymakers to take a closer look at the movement.
Greg Allen was in attendance at a news conference Friday where various leaders in the El Paso area expressed solidarity with Dallas while also trying to appeal to those who feel marginalized by a recent spate of high-profile police shootings. Allen didn’t deliver a statement at the conference, but he gave an interview to local press afterwards.
During the interview, Allen was asked to comment on an upcoming protest vigil El Paso’s Black Lives Matter group is planning to hold Sunday night. He responded by denouncing the group in remarkably harsh terms.
“Black Lives Matter, as far as I am concerned, is a radical hate group,” Allen said. “And for that purpose alone, I think the leadership of this country needs to look a little bit harder at that particular group. The consequences of what we saw in Dallas is due to their efforts.”
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Notably, Allen himself is black. He has led El Paso’s 1,100-officer force, one of the country’s 50 largest police departments, since 2007. Under his leadership, El Paso has consistently rated as one of America’s safest large cities.