PLEA issues statement on controversial police shooting

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PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) is standing by one of their own in the wake of a controversial shooting.

PLEA issued their first statement since the shooting death of Rumain Brisbon in early December, and they're coming down on the side of Officer Mark Rine.

Rine has been the center of controversy since the shooting. Brisbon, an unarmed black man was shot was shot and killed when Rine tried to arrest him. Rine believed Brisbon had a gun.

Monday, the union issuing the following statement:

Officer Rine did not start his shift on December 2nd with the intent of shooting someone, let alone with the intent of targeting someone because of their race.

PLEA is also upset about statements they claim civil rights activist Jarrett Maupin made using racial slurs.

"I don't think that's instructive to the dialogue," said Sgt. Joe Clure of PLEA. "It's certainly offensive and adds nothing to sitting down and resolving the issues."

Maupin says he spoke in reference to Martin Luther King Jr.'s letter from Birmingham, who used the word to illustrate the way in which black Americans were being treated at the time.

Maupin is claiming his words are being taken out of context, that he was talking about how blacks were profiled then and today.