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In web video, 911 operator defends comments on police

A Baltimore County 911 operator who posted on Facebook that she would rather her son encounter "so called thugs" than a police officer defended her comments in a video posted to the web Monday.

Kelli Murray said she made the comments, posted on her personal Facebook page, in response to other posts from colleagues, and also said her record as a police dispatcher stands up to scrutiny.

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"A lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon, and for those ones that want to hate me, for 8 years I helped see that your husband and wives went home safely," she said in the video, posted on a YouTube page created by the Baltimore-based group, Leaders of Beautiful Struggle.

Murray's Facebook post prompted calls from the Baltimore County police union for her to be dismissed from her duties as a dispatcher. County officials confirmed Murray's employment and said her job does not involve direct contact with police officers. Last week County Executive Kevin Kamenetz defended her right to speak freely.

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Murray said in the video that after her comments were widely shared and became the topic of news stories, she has felt harassed and fearful.

Murray worked with Leaders of Beautiful Struggle to produce the video. A member of the group said Murray was not immediately available Monday for additional comment.

The initial Facebook post surfaced at a time of heightened tension about the relationship between police and minority communities after the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of police, and fears among officers that they have become the target for retaliatory attacks.

Murray posted to Facebook before two NYPD officers were gunned down in Brooklyn earlier this month. The Facebook page has since been taken down.

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In the video, Murray said thoughts about her black son and the fate he might face if he ever got into trouble were on her mind when she wrote the post.

"I gave birth to a son that I want to see grow up," she said. "I can't imagine him being shot down like that."

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