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Peduto Defends Pittsburgh Police Chief on O’Reilly Factor (VIDEO)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2rOeaea4T8&feature=youtu.be&a

On the O’Reilly Factor Wednesday night, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto supported what he called “a risk” by city police Chief Cameron McLay that has bred controversy.

The Pittsburgh police chief was photographed last week with a sign reading “I resolve to challenge racism @ work #EndWhiteSilence.” The photo quickly gained attention on social media, sparking positive and negative commentary.

Police union president Howard McQuillan spoke out against McClay’s action, writing in an email that McClay insinuated “that we are now racist, merely by the color of our skin and the nature of our profession.”

Similar to McQuillan, in Wednesday’s five-minute interview, Bill O’Reilly suggested to Peduto that McClay’s move could signal to officers that the chief believes the department is racist. Peduto, however, said McClay’s action was part of his responsibility to create “open, honest dialogue.”

“I do believe that there’s powers I have as an elected official and powers that a police chief has in order to up the dialogue, to be able to say to people, ‘Yes, we’re listening,’” Peduto said. “I think by having that photo being seen by people, it starts a dialogue that takes us away from the polarizing debate that’s already happening.”

Peduto said his goal is to repair the relationship between the city’s police department and the community.

“There’s been a past history that has taken it to levels that have both demoralized the rank-and-file and at the same time broken the communication between our black community and our police force, so we’re trying to run both tracks at the same time,” the Mayor continued. “It’s sort of difficult, but the nice thing about Pittsburgh — it’s a small enough city with only 900 officers that you can work on an individual basis.”

Throughout the interview, O’Reilly pressed Peduto about whether he believed McClay’s action was wise, citing the rising tensions in New York City and in Ferguson.

McClay “took a risk,” Peduto admitted, “and if it’s taken the wrong way, it could actually…” O’Reilly cut him off, ending the segment by saying McClay needed to communicate with his officers.

“He’s got to tell his guys that he doesn’t think that that department’s racist,” O’Reilly concluded. “Those guys got to be reassured, as well, putting their lives on the line.”

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