The family of a young man who was fatally stabbed in the DC metro on the Fourth of July criticized Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) for using the death of their 24-year-old son to attack liberal policies in a speech Thursday.
"The fact that Gov. Chris Christie would invoke my son’s name in a politically motivated speech just three days after our family laid him to rest shows that he cares little about the grief my family is feeling," the family of Kevin Sutherland said in a statement, according to CTPost.com.
A spokesman for Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) of Connecticut, where Sutherland grew up, said Malloy was "disappointed" that Christie "would choose to politicize" Sutherland's death. Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), for whom Sutherland interned, also slammed the New Jersey governor for the reference.
"To use Kevin’s death to score political points is vile," Hines said in a statement. "Kevin was empathetic, kind, and wanted to create a better America and world by lifting up those around him. The fearmongering and thinly veiled racism evident in Christie’s speech reveal that he knew nothing about Kevin and his family or what they believed in, and he should be ashamed. Although, at this point, I find myself doubting if shame is something he’s capable of."
In the speech in Camden, N.J., the 2016 contender said the slaying of Sutherland, as well as the murder of Kathryn Steinle, who was killed in San Francisco, allegedly by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported multiple times, were proof that liberal politicians could not handle crime.
"These are just two tragic recent stories that have been repeated over and over again for too many families and communities all over America. For decades, liberal-leaning mayors and cities across America have pretended that the police are the enemy, and that lax criminal justice policies are compassionate," Christie said. "Well here’s a question I want to ask all those mayors and defenders of a broken system. How much compassion did liberal policies show for the families of Kevin Sutherland and Kathryn Steinle?"
The man suspected of killing Sutherland, a American University graduate, had been released from police custody the day before the murder when police downgraded a felony robbery charge to a misdemeanor due to lack of evidence.