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President of Seattle police union resigns after controversial media post about Dallas shootings

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SEATTLE -- The president of the Seattle Police Officers' Guild  said Tuesday night he is resigning from his union position following a controversial media post about the Dallas shooting that left five officers dead.

In the controversial Facebook post after the Dallas shootings, SPOG President Ron Smith wrote that "hatred of law enforcement by a minority movement is disgusting" and signed off with "#weshallovercome".

The post drew criticism.

In an email to his fellow officers Tuesday night, Smith said he will step down on July 31.

The email said:

"SPOG Members,

"Recently in the heat of the moment, as our brothers and sisters were under attack in Dallas I posted on the SPOG Facebook page something I intended to be supportive of our Dallas brothers and sisters as well as the outrage we all feel in the attacks on law enforcement across the country. What the post was meant to say is that it is disgusting that a small segment of society perpetuates violence toward law enforcement officers across this country. At no time was there any intent to apply blame to any organized group; only the small segment of society which has the propensity for violence toward law enforcement. We shall overcome meant just that; law enforcement will persevere and work through this time in history just as law enforcement did after 9-11 and how local law enforcement did after we lost 6-local law enforcement officers in a 6-week period in 2009, including Seattle Police Officer Tim Brenton. I regret that this post offended any one, as that was not the intent in any way.

"I have poured my heart and soul into this organization for the past 16-years, whether it was as Guardian Editor, 2-terms as Position #3 on the SPOG Board, Secretary-Treasurer and in the last 27-months as your President. I have been made aware that I have let the membership down, something that I deeply regret. I have never quit anything in my life except chewing tobacco, however this is not about me; it’s about the membership. We are living in very difficult times in law enforcement history, and we don’t need any further distractions in moving down the reform road and in full compliance with the consent decree. With these things in mind, I am notifying you now that I will resign my position as President effective July 31, 2016. This will allow an adequate transition for Vice President Kevin Stuckey who will assume the rest of my term, which expires March 1, 2017.

"It has been my pleasure to serve you. God Bless you all and be safe.

"Fraternally,

"Ron"

On the heels of the deadly Dallas police shootings last Thursday night,  Smith posted this full message on the Seattle Police Officers' Guild Facebook page:

‘Dallas PD and their officers are in our thoughts and prayers ...the hatred of law enforcement by a minority movement is disgusting..heads in swivels brothers and sisters..#weshallovercome'

The police officers union deleted its social media accounts amid the backlash.

Seattle Police Department Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey told Q13 News earlier Tuesday, “I think it was a poorly thought-through post and it's disappointing. He certainly can speak for himself or the guild can speak for him as what they meant by this post."

SPD is distancing themselves from the post saying it does not represent their department.

According to a @SeattlePD source, some union members were pressuring Smith to resign following  the backlash over the initial social media comments.