Sheriff Christopher Moss Issues Statement To Leaders and The Media

December 23, 2014

ELMIRA, NY – Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss, the head of the New York State Sheriffs Association, issued a statement this morning, saying there have been some who have been making irresponsible demogoguery and irresponsible statements, which Moss says have been fueling an anti police sentiment.

Moss also says the sheriffs are calling on Mayor DeBlasio, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Governor Cuomo and President Obama to be aware that what they say can have serious consequences.  The New York State Sheriffs Association is also calling on the media to be more cautious in their coverage of serious events, when that coverage has the potential of inciting violence.

See full statement below:

“The New York State Sheriffs Association, and all the Sheriffs of New York State, mourn the tragic loss of two New York City Police Officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were assassinated Saturday afternoon for no reason other than the fact that they were police officers. These senseless killings follow closely on the heels of senseless anti-police comments by some politicians and so-called community leaders, and the connection between the two events is inescapable. When our leaders, with their careless words, show disrespect for our police officers it is inevitable that some unsavory segments of society will see that as their cue to take violent action against the dedicated men and women who only seek to serve and protect. The blood of Officer Ramos and Officer Liu should weigh heavily on the consciences of those who, through their demagoguery and irresponsible statements, have recently fueled an anti-police sentiment in our cities, our State and Nation.”

“The Sheriffs of New York call upon Mayor De Blasio, Attorney General Schneiderman, Governor Cuomo, and President Obama to consider very carefully the words they use in discussing the serious criminal justice issues of our day, and to be aware that what they say can have serious consequences. Words can kill.”

“The Sheriffs of New York call upon all community leaders to consider what kind of a community they will have if there are no police there to protect and serve them, their friends and neighbors. Decry those leaders who would inflame a situation to promote themselves and their personal agendas. Work to bring your community and your police officers closer together, not further apart.”

“The Sheriffs of New York call upon the media to be more cautious in their coverage of serious events when that coverage has the potential of inciting violence. Facts may not be as interesting as fiction, but it is irresponsible to continually repeat wrong or misleading assertions by those with an agenda, contrary to known or easily discoverable facts. Complex legal issues, such as the theory and operation of the Grand Jury, are not easily digested for reporting to the masses, but an attempt should be made. The daily good work of our police officers deserves to be reported as much as the rare misdeed.”

“The Sheriffs of New York call upon all our citizens to give their support to our police officers under siege. As you are putting presents under your tree, some police officer will be putting on his bulletproof vest to go out into the night, to make sure you and your family remain safe. As you are enjoying the company of family and guests, the family of some on- duty police officer will be wondering, “Could this be the day that he does not come home to us?” When you see a police officer this week, thank him or her for all they do for us, and wish the officer a Merry Christmas!”

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation, formed in 1934, for the purpose of assisting sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of services to the public. It comprises all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York State. The Sheriffs’ Association is committed to providing education and training to advance the professionalism of all aspects of the office of sheriff. Visit www.nysheriffs.org.