The police chief of St. Cloud, Minnesota, refused to play along when Fox News hosts tried to get him to extend the blame for Saturday’s knife attack to the local Somali immigrant community.
Chief William Blair Anderson was on “Fox & Friends” on Monday to talk about the attack, which left eight people injured, when cohost Steve Doocy tried to tie the incident to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for “extreme vetting” of immigrants.
“Do you share his concern about who is coming into the country?” Doocy asked.
In remarks posted online by Media Matters, the chief replied:
“My job is public safety. It’s not immigration policy. I can tell you that the vast majority of all of our citizens, no matter their ethnicity, are fine, hard-working people, and now is not the time for us to be divisive. We already have a very cohesive community, and I expect that this will draw us even closer together. But at the end of the day, our job is public safety, period.”
Cohost Ainsley Earhardt tried to press the issue, claiming “Minnesota leads the nation” in people leaving the country to join terrorists and asking if Anderson receives cooperation from local imams.
“How do you fight this?” Earhardt asked. “Because it’s a mentality that they’re learning, many of them, behind closed doors.”
We actually work very well not just with our East African community, but all of our community. We meet regularly with any number of people, whether they are advocates for a specific ethnicity or different cause. It’s one of things that makes St. Cloud a wonderful place to live, and I know that might sound corny, but it’s the truth. We have established and maintained a very good rapport with our East African community and our community at large.