The president of Suffolk’s largest police union criticized Democratic congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley for allegedly sending a 2016 tweet that said police officers should be tested for “racism & God complexes” and face deportation.
“Why don’t we start by testing American #police @newtgingrich @realDonaldTrump? Let’s test their racism & God complexes & deport them?” @lgrechenshirley tweeted July 15, 2016 according to a screenshot provided by Grechen Shirley’s primary opponent, DuWayne Gregory.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had called for U.S. Muslims to be tested on their beliefs after a terrorist attack in Nice, France.
Gregory said he received the screenshot of the tweet from a supporter whom he declined to name. Suffolk PBA president Noel DiGerolamo said he got a screenshot of the tweet from a friend, whom he also wouldn’t name.
Grechen Shirley and Gregory are facing off in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary for the right to face Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) in November’s election.
DiGerolamo in a news release said Grechen Shirley’s, “toxic remarks are dangerous to our society and offensive to all, proving she is not suitable for public office.”
Grechen Shirley has “no recollection” of writing the tweet, said campaign spokeswoman Monica Klein. Grechen Shirley used to tweet under the @lgrechenshirley, but has changed her twitter handle to @liuba4congress, Klein said.
“This tweet does not exist anywhere online,” Klein said. “While Liuba’s opponent grasps at straws in an attempt to discredit her growing support, Liuba will continue to focus on providing Medicare for All to lower health care costs for Long Island families.”
In an interview, DiGerolamo said no one from the campaign had contacted him to rebut the tweet. Gregory called it “disgusting that you’d make broad generalizations about police officers as racists with God complexes,” he said.
DiGerolamo said the Suffolk PBA is endorsing Gregory in the Democratic primary on June 26, but said, “Peter King has always been and continues to be a friend of law enforcement.”