Robert Wren, the deputy police chief at Mt. San Antonio College in California, came under fire recently after he told a students that "police brutality is an absolute myth."
The Daily Bulletin reported that Wren made the remarks about police brutality in an interview with the student newspaper on Nov 21.
The comments came as the police department is pushing to arm its on-campus deputies.
"I know from 31 years of doing this that (racial profiling) doesn’t exist,” Wren was quoted as saying. “Police brutality is an absolute myth — a complete, utter, debunked myth.”
Wren had an opportunity to address the remarks during a town hall event last week.
According to the SAC on Scene Twitter account, Wren took responsibility for his opinion, insisting that the "statement I made to a journalism student, that is on me."
But the deputy chief further ignited the firestorm by downplaying concerns about policy profiling.
"On this campus only 11% of the campus is white. So on profiling minorities on this campus whites are minorities," Wren said.
Mt. SAC Police Chief Dave Wilson tried to clear up Wren's remarks in a statement on Saturday.
“The reality of it is, we look for criminal behavior, not so much skin color or ethnicity or gender or anything like that, and that’s kind of what he was trying to convey,” Wilson stated. “There are some racist jerks out there. But is it pervasive? Is it as big of a problem as some media outlets would portray it to be? That has not been my experience, and that has not been Deputy Chief Wren’s experience.”
According to the Daily Bulletin, "Mt. SAC is 55 percent Latino, 19 percent Asian, 11 percent white, 4 percent Pacific Islander and 3 percent African-American."
“This is a straight people-of-color community college, and with that type of mentality, and now they want guns?” student Alejandro Juarez told the paper on Friday. “When someone thinks like that, that racial profiling and police brutality isn’t an issue, that’s a dangerous mentality, especially when you’re serving a campus that is all minorities.”