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The police chief of New Orleans today backed off plans to pay $15,000 to a Nation of Islam leader to give “sensitivity training” to the cities police officers after criticism from local religious leaders.
While Chief Eddie Compass initially announced the plan as he sat next to controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, whose fiery sermons and pronouncements have been criticized as racist and anti-Semitic, the city’s top cop is now distancing himself from the controversial leader.
Compass argued the Nation of Islam’s security chief, Capt. Dennis Muhammad, had successfully implemented the program in other cities, including Buffalo, reported WWL-TV in New Orleans.
Now Compass says the training will go on but with different leadership.
Compass said he decided to implement a program after hearing complaints about police officers during his recent tour of the city’s high-crime neighborhoods.
“The people in the community who are anti-police, who really need to hear our message, who [we] really need to build the bridges with — members of the Nation of Islam have some type of relationship with these people,” Compass said earlier.
Farrakhan, who has met with dictators such as Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, has called whites “blue-eyed devils” and Jews “boodsuckers.”
Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad believed whites were created by an evil black scientist.
(Posted on June 15, 2005)