Former cop on New York Times' op-ed calling police 'the problem': 'It has gone too far'

Former police officer Brandon Tatum said on Tuesday that a New York Times' op-ed calling the police "the problem" is “absolutely ridiculous" and “damaging to the reputation of law enforcement.”

“I feel like, in this country, it has gone too far,” the former Tucson, Ariz., police officer told “Fox & Friends First.”

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The piece, entitled: "The Police Can’t Solve the Problem. They Are the Problem," was written by attorneys Derecka Purnell and Marbre Stahly-Butts and focuses on the 1994 crime bill signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. The authors stressed law enforcement is filling prisons at all costs, despite severe overcrowding.

"The reality is this: The police fill prisons," the authors wrote. "We can’t repair the harm that the 1994 crime bill has done by promoting mass incarceration without reducing the size and scope of the police."

The article concluded, "Systems of oppression, like slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration, must be reduced and abolished — not reimagined. Police officers, who primarily put people in cages, are the enforcers of mass incarceration. We must reckon with the reality that the police are part of the problem and stop investing money, power and legitimacy in them."

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Purnell and Stahly-Butts decried the 100,000 new police officers the crime bill commissioned and claimed the surge only helped reduce overall crime by 1.3 percent. They also noted a 26 percent drop in overall crime from 1993-2000 but were unwilling to credit law enforcement, instead attributing the drop to pre-school and job programs.

“Police officers have become the scapegoat of everybody’s problems,” Tatum said.

“When you’re having a problem, you call the police, when you are the problem, you blame the police and that’s exactly what they’re doing.”

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The article used the topic of incarceration to slam President Trump's recently signed criminal justice reform bill and accused the White House and Congress of not going far enough. It also claimed over 150 black-led groups were against the legislation.

Fox News’ Nick Givas contributed to this report.