CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - Amber Oberheim said action is needed to support law enforcement when she addressed Champaign's city council Tuesday night.
Oberheim said two words have been coming to mind for her since the loss of Chris Oberheim in the line of duty: choice and compassion.
She made the point that everyone has the ability to choose what they say, how they show up and how they respond. She added she has "significant concerns" about choices made recently by the council, including a choice to "stay silent and continue to be motivated by fear" and other decisions.
Oberheim said choices need to be made to support a well-funded police department and back up statements such as "we can do better." She said action needs to follow choosing to understand each other.
She said assumptions have been made about her words and their meaning, adding she never said "once a felon, always a felon" or any racial statements. She said she sees through black and white to the philosophical differences between right and wrong.
"I can back the blue and stand against racism," Oberheim said. "In case you didn't realize, you can do both."
Regarding compassion, Oberheim said God brought that word to her in a recent church service. She said she will work to hold Champaign's city council accountable and be compassionate toward them at the same time.
She closed with a message saying she will keep her fight for law enforcement going.
"Let me be clear - I am in no way condoning your choices," she said to city council. "I am in no way conceding. I am in no way backing down in my mission to show others how to honor, respect, love, defend and value my police family."