EL PASO, Texas — El Paso leaders are seeking support from Mayor Oscar Leeser and the El Paso City Council following controversial comments made by El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen.
Chief Allen made the comment after a press conference on Friday when asked about a Black Lives Matter vigil taking place in downtown El Paso on Sunday.
"Black Lives Matter, as far as I am concerned, is a radical hate group, and for that purpose alone, I think the leadership of this country needs to look a little harder at that group. The consequences of what we saw in Dallas is due to their efforts," Allen told reporters.
The statement has raised plenty of controversy in the midst of this week's tragedies in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas.
Now, officials are calling for action.
"It's an embarrassment," El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar said."It's not representative of our history or who we are. And from my perspective, an apology should be a minimum requirement. But in my view, that's not enough.
Multiple officials on the local, state, and national level penned a letter to El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and city representatives, telling them:
"This is why we urge you to publicly repudiate the statement, forcefully and unequivocally, and hold Chief Allen accountable for damaging the public trust and bringing disrepute to our community."
"He was wearing his uniform, and he was there in an official capacity, and so I think he definitely made the wrong decision in saying that," El Paso County Commissioner David Stout said.
Stout signed the letter and tells KFOX14 he wants to see Chief Allen take some responsibility for his actions.
"I think he owes an apology to the citizens of El Paso, the residents of El Paso, to the city, to the county, to the rest of us who also represent this area."
But Escobar says she feels that's not enough.
"When you have a chief of police exhibiting a loathing and condemnation for a group of residents, the council has to ask itself, in my view, they have to ask themselves, is this someone that can lead this department and police our community?"
The Black Lives Matter vigil will take place tomorrow at 8 p.m. at San Jacinto Plaza.
When KFOX14 asked Chief Allen about security plans at the vigil, he refused to divulge the information.