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Ex-con, former gangster hired as top DCCC adviser raises eyebrows with anti-police tweets

Things looked great for Dyjuan Tatro the day after Valentine’s Day when the ex-con celebrated his new gig with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“How it started v. How it’s going,” he tweeted, juxtaposing his DCCC job announcement with an earlier news report about his New York state prison debate team beating one from Harvard.

Since then, Mr. Tatro‘s tail of redemption hit the skids as other, more incendiary anti-police tweets surfaced.

Mr. Tatro, who was hired as a senior adviser for diversity and inclusion at the House Democrat’s campaign arm, cheered on looting during last year’s racial justice protests and also labeled U.S. Capitol Police “white supremacists.”

The social media trail complicated what Democrats packaged as an inspiring redemption story.

Republicans said Mr. Tatro‘s hiring fits snugly with the “defund the police” narrative pushed by many Democrats at the municipal and state level over the past year. Since the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis last May, the “defund the police” movement has gained support in several cities led by Democratic councils and mayors.

“We already know House Democrats want to defund the police, but it’s disturbing to see DCCC senior leadership actively condoning looting and slandering Capitol Police,” said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Michael McAdams.

Mr. Tatro has a long felony record. At one time he ranked as a “triggerman” with the Original Gangsta Killers, an Albany gang, according to The New York Post, which first reported on his hire at the DCCC. He also was convicted of two shootings in 2006 and a racketeering charge in 2011, before being paroled in 2017.

Mr. Tatro admitted slashing another gang member with a razor in 2002 and extensive drug dealing, according to news reports.

While behind bars, however, Mr. Tatro earned a bachelor’s degree and triumphed on the jailhouse debate team.

His supporters note his good work on behalf of incarcerated people since his release.

The Post story was “trash,” DCCC spokesman Cole Leiter said in a tweet. She said Mr. Tatro served his sentence and has since become “a national leader in a bipartisan movement to reform prison education systems.”

Mr. Leiter on Tuesday stressed that Mr. Tatro‘s arc from street thug to college graduate to respected voice was an inspiring one. The DCCC would have no further comment, she said.

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