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Local law enforcement groups weigh in on claims of perpetuating racism by Kleine

Local leaders weigh in
Posted at 6:25 PM, Sep 28, 2020

Update - 9/29/20

Presidents of two area law enforcement groups have come to the defense of Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine after accusations of perpetuating racism and white supremacy by members of Nebraska's Democratic Party.

See their response below or by clicking here.

Previous story - 9/28/20

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine is defending himself after the Nebraska Democratic Party claimed he perpetuated white supremacy and sparked division in his handling of the James Scurlock case.

A resolution was introduced by community organizer Ja Keen Fox, a local activist for Black and Brown Voices, over the weekend.

“Anyone who perpetuates white supremacy does not like to be called out about white supremacy,” Fox said.

Fox claims Kleine’s action to not charge Jacob Gardner in the killing of James Scurlock was racist, adding Kleine did not value Scurlock’s life.

Kleine said his decisions in the case were based on law and evidence, adding Fox has a history of hateful rhetoric toward law enforcement.

"I’ve always denounced anything to do with racism, particularly white supremacy and to say that I somehow promote that or perpetuate that is just beyond belief,” said Kleine.

Kleine said he has one of the most diverse offices in the state, something he's worked on his entire career.

“I am a Democrat, so I want to make sure that Black and Brown people’s interests are reflected in how the party talks to society as a whole,” Fox said. “I would welcome Don Kleine to leave the party because I think he needs to be somewhere that more accurately reflects his racism and white supremacy.”

Kleine, also a Democrat, questions why Fox has hijacked the voice of the Nebraska Democratic Party.

“Because of that type of rhetoric and that kind of nonsense, there are a lot of people who have been lifelong Democrats that are really seriously considering making a change,” Kleine said.

Nebraska Democratic Party chair Jane Kleeb denied an interview, but said in a statement, "All of these measures work to build the party and create a more inclusive and welcoming party at all levels."

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer is defending Kleine, saying:

“Don Kleine is one of the most skilled county attorneys in the country. He is also a man i have great respect for. As chief of the Omaha Police Department, I have personally witnessed him be a champion for crime victims while seeking justice for victims of all races and genders. I ask that everyone revisit the vast body of work of County Attorney Kleine and you will see a dedicated and ethical public servant."

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert also commented, saying:

"The Nebraska Democratic Party’s attack on Don Kleine gives credibility to Ja Keen Fox and his hateful opinions and actions.
In July, I removed Mr. Fox as a member of my LGBTQ+ Advisory Board for his public support of the killer of five police officers in Dallas in 2016. Mr. Fox’s views are not acceptable in our city.
Don Kleine is a man of character and integrity and is well-respected by both parties. His record as the Douglas County Attorney demonstrates knowledge and fair application of the laws of our state.

The Nebraska Democratic Party resolution promotes hate and division and supports Mr. Fox’s personal agenda.
Mr. Kleine has earned the public trust and deserves better from his own party."

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