Texas Leaders React to Manchester Concert Attack

After a suicide bomber detonated explosives outside the Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert, strong reactions from leaders began to surface.

In North Texas, Sheriff Tracy Murphree of Denton County expressed an emotional reaction to the Manchester bombing via social media.

Here in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott released a statement writing, “an attack on one democracy is an attack on us all, and we must remain steadfast in our efforts to eradicate terrorists.”

In North Texas, Sheriff Tracy Murphree of Denton County expressed his emotions via social media. Below is the full post:

"Pay attention to what you see in Manchester England tonight. Pay attention to what is happening in Europe. This is what happens when you disarm your citizens. When you open your borders without the proper vetting. When you allow political correctness to dictate how you respond to an enemy that wants to kill you. When you allow these radicals to travel to Afghanistan and Iran and simply let them back in. When you give up your city's and your neighborhoods to a religious ideology that says you must convert or die. A ideology that treats women as property, kills gays and women and christians with complete impunity. The left tells us we must submit and accept these radical beliefs and bend over backwards to make sure we don't hurt anybody's feelings. The left wants to cater to the very group that would kill every group they claim to support. Folks this is an enemy hell bent on killing you. Committed to forcing you to convert or die. This enemy will strap bombs to their own body and blow themselves up killing children. I'm sick of it. You better wake up America. While you are distracted by the media and the crying of the left, Islamic Jihadist are among us and want to kill you. What will it take? This happening at a concert in Dallas or a school in Denton County? If we don't do something quick this country will die of political correctness and the fear that someone's feelings may be hurt. It may very well be to late for Europe."

Many are applauding his remarks, but some are calling his reaction disturbing and divisive.

"I was shocked," said Denton resident Sarah Gramblin. "I don’t trust that he’s going to treat everyone equally under the law and that really worries me."

In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Murphree told NBC 5 his remarks are directed at terrorists, not the entire Islamic community. 

"A lot of folks want to make it a race issue, and to me, it's not a race issue. It's a public safety issue," he said.

Sheriff Murphree said he wrote the post while watching news reports about the Manchester attack, specifically parents who were searching for their children.

"As a father and seeing those emotional tweets and social media reaching out trying to find those kids, it made me mad and it affected me," he said. "I stand by everything I said in that post, I’m not backing off any word of it."

Doctor Christopher Copeland, director of the Institute for Homeland Security, Cyber Crime and International Criminal Justice Studies at Tarleton State University in Fort Worth discusses the next steps investigators will take in the Manchester concert bombing investigation.

Sheriff Murphree has been in law enforcement for twenty-five years. He was recently elected as Sheriff in 2016.

Tuesday, the Council for American Islamic Relations called on the Sheriff to reaffirm his commitment to equal justice following what it described as an "Islamophobic rant."

The former Texas Ranger also made headlines for another Facebook post in 2016, where he made inflammatory remarks regarding transgender women.

He has since apologized for that post.

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