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Green Bay police question comments by Packers' White

Recent comments by Packers star Reggie White on police attitudes toward blacks have raised eyebrows in Titletown.

The defensive end told a group of Knoxville, Tenn., high school students last weekend that police provoke young black men to put them behind bars so that the government can deprive them of an education, a Knoxville newspaper reported.

"I am a police officer, and although I have never met Reggie White, he has judged me by the color of my uniform," Green Bay police officer Bill Bongle wrote in a letter to the Green Bay Press-Gazette after reading an article about White's comments. "How hypocritical."

The Knoxville News-Sentinel quoted White as saying police want young black males to sell drugs, join gangs and use guns so they can put them in jail.

"Obviously, I don't know if he was taken out of context," Green Bay Police Chief Jim Lewis said. "But there are 500,000 men and women serving in law enforcement throughout the country, and it's unfair to stereotype any group by occupation just as it's improper to stereotype anyone by race or gender."

White's agent did not immediately return a message left at his office Wednesday. He told the Press-Gazette that White was vacationing and couldn't be reached for comment.

COWBOYS: Fullback Daryl Johnston re-signed for a five-year, $7.575-million contract. By locking up the two-time Pro Bowl player, owner Jerry Jones pacified quarterback Troy Aikman and running Emmitt Smith, both of whom made public pleas for Johnston to be re-signed.

FALCONS: Running back Gary Downs, a three-year veteran signed a one-year contract. Atlanta also re-signed quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver to a one-year deal. Also, Pete Mangurian was added to the coaching staff as offensive quality control.

CHARGERS: Tackle Reuben Davis re-signed for $5.6-million over four years, turning down a more lucrative offer from Minnesota. Davis, an unrestricted free agent, will receive a signing bonus in excess of $1.4-million.

PACKERS: Wide receiver Don Beebe, who spent much of 1996 as the third receiver but filled in as a starter for six midseason games, re-signed. Terms were not disclosed.

LIONS: Linebacker Tom Beer re-signed and safety Harry Colon was signed. Beer spent the past three years with Detroit, while Colon last played in the NFL with Jacksonville in 1995.

REDSKINS: Quarterback Heath Shuler is scheduled to visit Green Bay today. Meanwhile, Washington is scheduled to meet Friday with Oakland's Jeff Hostetler.