Blaming Police for Dallas Killings|Brings Trouble for Calif. Town Leader

     NEVADA CITY, Calif. (CN) — A California city councilwoman is the target of strident criticism after making public comments that appeared to lay the blame for the Dallas Police shooting on police.
     “This was completely incited by America’s police force,” Senum wrote on her Facebook page the morning of July 8, the morning after a lone gunman killed five Dallas police officers and wounded eight others. “They have obviously been directed to go out there and kill.”
     The comment drew swift condemnation from several community members and calls for her resignation.
     Senum serves on Nevada City’s council, which oversees a small town of 3,000 nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
     The councilwoman has since apologized for initial statement, asserting she did not mean that officers in Dallas were any way deserving of death, but stood by her premise that violence begets violence and police are in need of reform.
     “The intent was not to vilify our police force but to point out a well-documented trend that is causing a public backlash towards the police,” Senum said in a July 9 statement.
     However, her apology and clarification was not sufficient to appease some community members, particularly in law enforcement.
     The Nevada City Police Officers Association called for Senum to immediately resign, saying its vote demanding her step down was unanimous. Senum has vowed not to resign but did apologize to members of the local department.
     “I also apologize for using such a broad brush that our local officers felt they were included in my statement,” Senum said.
     However, the pressure shows no sign of abating as other law enforcement organizations have joined in calling for Senum to resign.
     “We stand with the Nevada City POA in calling for Councilwoman Senum’s immediate resignation,” a spokesman for the Nevada County Deputy Sheriff’s Association said. “Her comments are wholly unacceptable and inflammatory.”
     Others have started an online petition calling for her resignation, which has amassed more than 2,000 signatures.
     Senum does not lack supporters, with some expressing her right to have an opinion no matter how misguided, and others arguing her points are valid.
     “I applaud and admire you for being so brave and saying what everyone else is thinking but is too afraid to say,” Chris Kelly wrote on Senum’s Facebook page.

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