While both U.S. Senate candidates from OHIO — Democrat Tim Ryan and Republican JD Vance — say they are staunch supporters of law enforcement, each has made statements that could raise doubts.
Vance highlights in television ads on August 26, 2019, the statement Ryan made at Paine College in Georgia during his failed presidential bid: “The current criminal justice system is racist. I believe in my heart that this is the new Jim Crow.
Ryan’s campaign said the statement was part of a broader response on sentencing disparities for drug crimes as well as health care and environmental justice.
Ryan also falsely accused police officers in a June 3, 2020 video of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, an African American man who was actually killed by a white man on February 23 of that year in Georgia.
In addition to saying Arbery was killed by police officers, Ryan said black Americans “have been profiled, targeted, killed because of deep-rooted racism in our criminal justice system.”
Ryan also received criticism from the head of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police and local law enforcement for a July 23, 2020 letter he co-wrote to the Attorney General of Ohio. era, William Barr, on racism and police brutality.
“We are compelled to recognize the reality that racism plagues our systems and makes it harder for black people and other people of color to access resources and opportunities,” the letter said.
He also said: “Police brutality and the use of excessive, militarized force are among the most serious violations of human rights and civil liberties in the United States and have led to community destabilization, diminished security and the exacerbation of structural inequalities”.
Without going as far as Ryan, Vance said on August 15, 2017 on CNN: “Many black Americans rightly fear that they will not be treated fairly by certain members of the police force.”
As for other statements made by Vance, he said in a May 3 interview with Spectrum News that if someone is convicted of a crime, “It’s a different conversation, but being charged with a crime, as we’ve learned over the past four years in this country, is very often more about corrupt law enforcement than anything. someone actually did.”
Vance was referring to unproven charges against former President Donald Trump regarding collusion with Russia.
Vance tweeted on April 26 that he was “it is time to investigate the corrupt leaders” from the FBI.
On February 1, Vance tweeted: “Joe Biden (Office of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) is illegally collecting gun transaction information from millions of law-abiding citizens and placing it in a digital database. As a Senator, I will not only lead the fight against Biden’s unconstitutional gun database, I will fight to ABOLISH the ATF.
In a February 18 op-ed column in The Cincinnati Enquirer, Vance wrote that instead of focusing on stopping illegal arms trafficking on the southern border, the ATF “rather uses valuable resources to spy on US citizens” through a federal firearms database.
Luke Schroeder, a spokesperson for the Vance campaign, said: “No twist from Tim Ryan can change the fact that he slandered the police, called today’s criminal justice system the new Jim Crow, falsely accused the police of murder, refused to vote for condemn the funding of the police movement and voted to eliminate qualified immunity.”
Izzi Levy, spokesperson for Ryan’s campaign, said: ‘JD Vance called law enforcement ‘corrupt’, called for removing funding from federal agencies that help Ohio police do their jobs and raise funds for people who beat cops over the head with lead pipes during the Jan 6 insurrection (2021) and now he’s lying about Tim to distract from his own record of taking a stand squarely against the police.
Vance supported some people who were at the Capitol Riot on Jan. 6 and tweeted a link last Jan. 6 asking for contributions to the Patriot Freedom Project for the “Dozens of people who protested on J6 who haven’t even been charged with a crime yet (and) are being abused in DC jails.”
The Patriot Freedom Project has been criticized for not being sufficiently transparent about how it spent the $900,000 it received in donations and the like, according to a Feb. 10 NPR article.
The Ohio FOP, which represents 23,000 officers in the state, endorsed Vance over Ryan in the Senate race. The Ohio FOP has mostly backed Republicans this election cycle.
Jeff Simpson, president of New Castle, Pennsylvania-born Columbus FOP Lodge 9, said Ryan “Negative rhetoric is a problem. When you say things that affect our safety and write a letter saying the justice system is racist, that’s a false narrative. He’s not safe for Ohio, public safety, or my people.
The Columbus lodge is the fourth largest in the nation with 4,500 members in 28 Franklin County jurisdictions, Simpson said.
Simpson said Ryan addressed the lodge about four years ago and criticized Trump over “Law and order.” Simpson said almost all of its members are conservatives and Ryan “I was booed out of the room.
Vance, he said, “is a new candidate. He doesn’t have a case to run on, but he said the right things and he put boots on the ground to meet law enforcement. It lays the foundation for my members to feel confident.
Schröder said: “JD supports the police; they are selfless, patriotic Americans who stand between social peace and chaos. The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police endorsed JD because they know he is the right man for the job. They are fighting to stop Tim Ryan because they know he is too radical and dangerous for the communities of Ohio.
Van added: “Tim Ryan turned his back on the police to advance his political aspirations. Tim Ryan’s reckless demonization of law enforcement has made Ohio communities less safe, even as crime increases in Ohio and across the country. We need leaders who will put public safety above politics, who will defeat the far-left forces that are making many major American cities unlivable. I will be that kind of leader, but not Tim Ryan. »
Ryan’s campaign said he helped bring back $467 million in federal funds for Ohio law enforcement and first responders as a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee and through his support of the US rescue plan.
Ryan is also a key sponsor of the bipartisan Law Enforcement Scenario-Based Training for Safety and De-Escalation Act of 2022, which would require the U.S. Department of Justice to create an immersive, real-life, scenario-based training program. scenarios to solve key problems. raised by law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.
“In Ohio and across the country, we have seen too many tragic confrontations between our police officers and members of the community – a problem that increased police training can help solve,” said Ryan. “We need to ensure that our law enforcement officers who are regularly put in dangerous situations are equipped with all the necessary de-escalation tools to keep our communities safe.”
Ryan Fuja, spokesperson for the Ryan campaign, said: “San Francisco fraud JD Vance only lies about Tim’s record of supporting law enforcement (as a distraction)…While Vance was selling out the Ohioans, Tim was working hard to allow the police to do its job safely and efficiently and secure nearly half a billion dollars to fund state and local law enforcement throughout Ohio.