MSP head under fire over NFL protest post

In an Oct. 1, 2015 file photo, Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue leads a focus group discussion at Benton Harbor High School, in Benton Harbor, Mich. The 23-member Michigan Legislative Black Caucus is calling for the resignation of Etue for sharing a post on her Facebook page that called NFL players protesting during the national anthem "degenerates." The group of lawmakers said Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, if Etue doesn't resign, then Gov. Rick Snyder should fire her. (Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium via AP, File)

By DAVID EGGERT Associated Press LANSING — The Michigan Legislative Black Caucus and civil rights groups on Wednesday called for the resignation or firing of the head of the State Police for sharing a Facebook post calling NFL players who protest during the national anthem “anti-American degenerates.” The caucus, which is comprised of 22 Democratic legislators, said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue — who has apologized — can no longer be trusted to fulfill her duties in an objective and unbiased manner. Liberal activists, the American Civil Liberties Union and at least one Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Abdul El-Sayed, also called for her ouster. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will not ask her to step down, spokeswoman Anna Heaton said. “The colonel said she made a mistake and publicly apologized,” she said. “She has served with distinction as an outstanding public servant for decades.” The post Etue shared on Sunday, which was signed “we the people,” calls the protesting players “millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans.” It also calls them “rich, entitled, ungrateful.” The post angered lawmakers, especially in Detroit, where a white state police trooper last month fired a Taser at an unarmed black 15-year-old, Damon Grimes, during a chase before the teen crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died. Sen. Vincent Gregory, a Southfield Democrat and former sheriff’s detective, said during a contentious state Senate debate that law enforcement officers are “held to a higher standard” and Etue must meet “an even higher standard.” “We have now a colonel, the leader of the state police, that has now shown a distinct bias toward a group of citizens in the state of Michigan,” he said. “So my question is, ‘How can she continue to do this job when she’s shown a bias?'” The ACLU of Michigan said Etue “undermined her leadership and may have irreparably damaged MSP’s relationship with communities of color.”