BENSON, AR—In response to widespread criticism of law enforcement officers following several high-profile police encounters in recent weeks that resulted in the shooting deaths of black men, Benson police chief Lewis Marsh sought to assure the public Monday by explaining that there are just a few bad, deeply ingrained prejudices out there giving all cops a bad name. “The fact is, among the thousands of brave law enforcement personnel working to keep us safe, there are only a few longstanding and deep-rooted biases that are ruining the reputations of all officers,” said Marsh, who emphasized that citizens should not rush to condemn the nation’s police forces simply because of the presence of one or two narrow and entrenched opinions about minorities that inform the way policing is often carried out. “The characters of officers across the country have been tarnished by a small handful of terrible preconceptions that are capable of dictating their actions, and that’s not fair. A couple harmful, pervasive beliefs should not define the men and women who serve us.” Marsh added that the police officers involved in the recent shootings had simply done what they thought was necessary given the information and biased inclinations they had at the time.

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