In an interview last month on a local Internet show, District 3 Council Jose F. Moreno tapped into boilerplate identity politics narrative to paint the Anaheim Police Association (APA) as a suspect group that engages in dog-whistle bigotry (click here for more).

This prompted a powerful rebuttal from Edgar Hampton, the president of the APA, in a comment to our story:

Jose Moreno is a self-proclaimed academic. If you did not know this, just sit quietly in a room with him for five minutes or so and he will remind you. I find it fascinating that a man of letters so often refuses to simply look at the data provided, and base a decision or conclusion on the raw data.

Let’s look at what the Anaheim Police Association has done over the past four years:

The Anaheim Police Association worked with, not fought against, being the first Orange County police agency with body worn cameras.

The Anaheim Police Association works with, not against, the Office of Independant Review (OIR) a civilian oversight group.

The Anaheim Police Association has worked with, not against, the city for implementing the Police Review Board for the city of Anaheim.

And the Anaheim Police Association has worked with Major Incident Review (MIRT), an internal review of all major incidents to see what can be done better, OIR is present for this as well. The MIRT process is unique to Anaheim and several other agencies are looking to Anaheim for help in implementing a similar process.

All of these changes in policing may not have been a popular idea with our membership but it was understood that it was necessary to help close the gap in transparency and and trust for better community outreach. In all the meetings we had for these new policies I never had the pleasure of Mr. Moreno gracing us with his presence to provide any input. I am exhausted from this “Anaheim Police are racist” mantra being trotted out every time Mr Moreno needs a talking point. In 2017 our officers responded to almost 200000 calls for service and had less than 100 uses of force. I would put a 99.5% success rate up against any of our critics who claim we use force at an excessive rate.

Our 400 officer association is being led by me, an African American man who won his election by hundreds not 78 votes. To characterize our organization as fundamentally racist is insulting but I expect no less from a man who views me and my brother and sister officers as enemies. It should also be noted that our police manager association is also led by an African American President. Not bad for a racist organization bent on returning to the days of KKK members being on the job. But let’s not let facts get in the way of a good argument right.

Our association has backed political candidates from both sides of the aisle as evidenced by backing an openly gay democrat against Mr Moreno in his first election. I hardly think that constitutes a MAGA agenda. The bottom line is we are willing to work with any candidate who is willing to compromise and work together for the betterment of the city, county and state. Our endorsement record is absolutely open to scrutiny and any review would show that we don’t back any one candidate based on political ideology. Surely focusing on your successes as I did in the first paragraph would be more effective than a “don’t vote for the other guy” campaign. We eagerly await to hear those success stories.

Edgar Hampton
Anaheim Police Association