A Nebraska state senator is standing firm and refusing to apologize for saying he’d shoot a cop if he had a weapon as he compared law-enforcement agents to terrorists, Fox News reports.
According to the news site, Sen. Ernie Chambers, an independent from Omaha, refused to back down and ignored his colleagues’ demands for apologies on the Legislature floor Thursday.
“I meant what I said and I said what I meant,” Chambers said, according to Fox. The lawmaker also called out his colleagues on the irony of their demands that he retract his words, given that they were just discussing freedom of expression Wednesday.
“I’m not going to resign,” he said. “I’m not going to apologize. Why do you think I would apologize?”
According to Omaha.com, during a public hearing on Friday concerning a bill about concealed handguns, Chambers said that his district was more in fear of police than the terrorist Islamic State group, or ISIS.
“My ISIS is the police. Nobody from ISIS ever terrorized us as a people as the police do us daily. And they get away with it,” Chambers, who is black, said, according to the news site.
The 77-year-old lawmaker said that he didn’t own a gun and wasn’t a “man of violence,” but he said that if he were, he’d have no qualms about using a firearm against the police, Omaha.com notes. “I would want to shoot him first and ask questions later, as they say the cop ought to do,” he said.
His comments attracted the attention of Fox News on Wednesday, leading to a backlash from his colleagues.
“I think Senator Chambers owes those who wear the uniform of law enforcement an apology,” fellow Nebraska state Sen. Beau McCoy said Wednesday on the floor.
On Thursday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts joined the ranks of those demanding an apology. “As public officials, we are held to a higher standard, and we should be. No one should ever suggest the use of violence against law-enforcement officials,” he said.
Chambers, however, remains steadfast. “I will continue strongly and vociferously to criticize police,” he insisted. “I will continue to condemn the police when they are wrong. And in my community, they are wrong.”