Top NH police chief, sheriff blast Bloomberg group in open letter
By JOHN DiSTASO Senior Political Reporter
CONCORD -- The presidents of the state associations of chiefs of police and sheriffs, both supporters of Sen. Kelly Ayotte, have criticized Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” group in an open letter to the New York City mayor.
Chief Michael Sielicki, president of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police and Sheriff Scott Hilliard, president of the New Hampshire Sheriff’s Association, called it “deeply shameful” that supporters of Bloomberg’s organization listed criminals as “having been ‘murdered’ and used them as examples of gun violence” during a rally in Concord last week.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns has been urging Ayotte to change her spring vote against expanded background checks for gun sales.
“Law enforcement here in New Hampshire and across the country put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe,” the two New Hampshire officials wrote. “We are deeply offended that your group suggested that a terrorist and these criminals, who tried to injure or kill our brother officers, are victims.”
Mayors Against Illegal Guns officials apologized for naming dead Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev among the victims of gun violence at the rally. But also named were other criminals killed by police, including California killer Christopher Dorner.
The chief and sheriff wrote, “Additionally, the list your group cited included several hoodlums who attempted to kill police officers. Kurt Myers, suspected of killing four people in New York, was killed after he fired at a tactical team. Anthony James Galla, who was wanted in connection with his alleged involvement in a shooting, was killed in a shootout with police in Pennsylvania. And Esteban J. Smith was killed after engaging in a shootout with authorities that left a sheriff wounded.”
The two officials wrote their letter was meant to express “extreme outrage.”