Wake Ed

Conservatives criticize Wake County school board member’s comments on police killings

Conservative activists are attacking Wake County school board member Keith Sutton for drawing comparisons to his near arrest at a 2010 school board meeting with the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers.

In a press release Thursday, the Wake Citizens Coalition said it “condemns” Sutton’s “inflammatory remarks made towards Raleigh’s Police Department and its officers.” Sutton. who was wearing a #BlackLivesMatter shirt at Tuesday’s board meeting, had speculated how his life would have gone differently if his “arrest hold” had “gone to a improperly applied chokehold” like the fatal one applied to Eric Garner by a New York City police officer.

“Mr. Sutton has used a national issue to denigrate our local law enforcement, suggesting they could have used deadly force to constrain him,” according to the press release from the conservative group. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Sutton appears to have found yet another avenue to inflame racial tensions in our community.”

In a blog post Wednesday, Lady Liberty 1885 criticized Sutton for linking the nationwide protests of the killings to the achievement gap.

“The message Sutton appears to be trying to give is that minority achievement or lack thereof in school is like having an encounter with police like Eric Garner,” the conservative blogger writes. “Maybe a separate set of standards should be applied to everything is ‘equitable’?”