Chris Christie recently used the murder of 24-year-old Kevin Sutherland, a former Capitol Hill intern who was stabbed to death on the D.C. metro on July 4th, to underscore the failure of “liberal policies” on policing. Now Sutherland’s parents and former boss, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), are accusing Christie of “exploiting” the tragedy for political points.

“The fact that Gov. Chris Christie would invoke my son’s name in a politically motivated speech just three days after our family laid him to rest shows that he cares little about the grief my family is feeling,” the family said in a statement. “He obviously spent little time finding out who my son was and what he stood for. If he had…He would have found someone who would never exploit someone else’s tragedy to further his own ambitions.”

Sutherland’s murderer had been arrested several days earlier for robbery, and was then released. Christie brought this up during a speech as an example of why America should "focus on keeping dangerous and violent offenders behind bars.”

“The reason that killer was on the train? His charge got reduced to a misdemeanor – and he was released the day after being arrested,” Christie said.

Rep. Himes, for whom Sutherland once interned, slammed Christie’s remarks as "grossly disrespectful."

"Kevin Sutherland was a friend of mine," Himes said in a statement. "He was an intern on my campaign and in my Congressional office. I am friends with his parents. By speaking about Kevin Sutherland and his family in this way, Christie has once again shown himself nothing more than a pure opportunist with no sense of decency and a severely distorted idea of right and wrong."

"To use Kevin's death to score political points is vile,” he said.

(h/t Huffington Post)