Conservative media figures hid statements from President Obama and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio condemning violent protests. Instead, they misleadingly suggested the politicians were to blame for December 20 murder of two New York City police officers by a gunman, who was reportedly retaliating against the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of police.
Two NYPD Officers “Assassinated” In Apparent Act Of Revenge
Two Police Officers “Assassinated” By Gunman “Angered About The Eric Garner And Michael Brown Cases.” According to The New York Times, NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed on December 20 while on duty. The reported assailant, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, killed himself before being taken into custody, but had previously “made statements on social media suggesting that he planned to kill police officers and was angered about the Eric Garner and Michael Brown case.” Both Brown and Garner were killed by police officers, and their deaths have sparked protests around the United States. New York police commissioner Bill Bratton stated that the officers had been “quite simply, assassinated -- targeted for their uniform.” [The New York Times, 12/20/14]
Right-Wing Media Suggest Obama And De Blasio Inspired Anti-Police Hatred And Violence Leading To Murder Of Two NYPD Officers
Former Mayor Giuliani: “We've Had Four Months Of Propaganda Starting With The President That Everybody Should Hate The Police.” On the December 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday, former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani said that it “goes too far to blame the Mayor or to ask for the Mayor's resignation” over the shooting of the officers, but nevertheless claimed that “four months of propaganda starting with the president” encouraged the anti-police sentiments that were behind the shooting and the New York City protests that took place several days before:
GIULIANI: We've had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police. I don't care how you want to describe it, that's what those protests are all about. The protests are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged, the protests, even the ones that don't lead to violence, and a lot of them lead to violence, all lead to a conclusion: the police are bad, the police are racists. That is completely wrong. Actually the people who do the most for the Black community in America are the police. [Fox News, Fox & Friends Sunday, 12/21/14]
Former Mayor Giuliani Attributes President Obama And Eric Holder's “Misinformation” And “Lying” To “Anti-Police Hatred” In New York City. During the December 21 edition of Fox & Friends Sunday, Giuliani accused President Obama and Eric Holder of spreading “misinformation” and “lying” to stoke “anti-police hatred.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends Sunday, 12/21/14]
Fox News Contributor Erick Erickson: President Obama And Mayor De Blasio “All But Encouraged Retaliation On The Police After The Eric Garner Situation.” Fox News contributor Erick Erickson claimed that “Neither side should blame the other” for the deaths of the police officers, but wrote that Obama, Holder, and de Blasio's “repeated anti-police rhetoric ... all but encouraged retaliation on the police” and were transforming America with a “war on police”:
Now, in New York City, a man has gunned down two police officers. He did so after repeated anti-police rhetoric from the President, Eric Holder, and New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio who, himself, all but encouraged retaliation on the police after the Eric Garner situation.
President Obama promised to fundamentally transform America. We just didn't expect that transformation to involve a war on police. [ErickOnTheRadio.com, 12/21/14]
National Review Online: Murder Suspect “Was Clearly Animated By The Racially-Charged, Rabidly Anti-Police Atmosphere” President Obama And Others “Promoted.” A December 21 post by National Review Online contributor Andrew McCarthy suggested President Obama and “like-minded radicals” were in part to blame for the murder of the two NYPD officers, claiming their rhetoric signals “that savage acts against police and others are likely to be rationalized and tolerated”:
Obama and his attorney general have joined the administration at the hip with notorious demagogue Al Sharpton. Together with like-minded radicals like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, they promote a lethally dangerous smear that police lack human regard for the lives of black Americans.
This has not only divided our society -- and Obama, like Sharpton, divides us out of the most shameful of political calculations. It has further signaled to a violent fringe Obama well knows is out there that savage acts against police and others are likely to be rationalized and tolerated -- and, indeed, that violent acts short of murder will be ignored or sugar-coated as “peaceful protest.”
And now, two police officers have been murdered because they were sitting in their squad car wearing their uniforms -- by a violent criminal who was clearly animated by the racially-charged, rabidly anti-police atmosphere Obama, Sharpton & Co. have promoted. [National Review Online, 12/21/14]
President Obama And Mayor De Blasio Both Condemned Violence Against Police Before The NYPD Murders
De Blasio: Protest Organizers “Must Denounce Violence ... You Cannot Talk About Social Change And Then Commit An Act Of Violence Against A Police Officer.” On December 17, Mayor de Blasio stated that protesters “absolutely... must denounce violence” if they hope to achieve progress in police-community relations. His statements strongly condemning violence against police were made in response to reports that two NYPD officers had been injured days before as thousands of protesters clogged the Brooklyn Bridge:
DE BLASIO: You cannot talk about social change and then commit an act of violence against a police officer. It makes no sense. It denigrates the cause. It undermines the legitimacy. It's illegal, it's wrong, it's immoral. [Capital New York, 12/17/14]
De Blasio: “We Cannot Accept Violence Against Our Police Officers.” During a December 19 press conference after a meeting with community activist group Justice League NYC, New York mayor Bill de Blasio stressed the importance of peaceful organization “to bring [the] police and [the] community together” in the wake of several isolated acts of violence against police during city-wide demonstrations the weekend prior:
DE BLASIO: This is what our democracy respects. This is what our democracy allows for, is people to make their voices heard peacefully, in an organized way - and that's what this group and others have been doing. I made very clear that we cannot accept any violence against our police officers or against anyone. And they were very quick to affirm that they were appalled equally by the events on Saturday night. They find it unacceptable and they will work with the police to identify anyone who seeks to harm the police or harm anyone and undermine their non-violent peaceful progressive movement. [Office of the Mayor, 12/19/14 emphasis added]
President Obama's Response To Nov. 24 Michael Brown Grand Jury Decision: “There's Never An Excuse For Violence.” During a November 24 press conference called in response to a St. Louis County grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer responsible for the death of Michael Brown, President Obama acknowledged that minority communities do face real problems with law enforcement, but made clear that “there's never an excuse for violence”:
OBAMA: I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur. Understand, our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. They've got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law. As they do their jobs in the coming days, they need to work with the community, not against the community, to distinguish the handful of people who may use the grand jury's decision as an excuse for violence
Those of you who are watching tonight understand that there's never an excuse for violence, particularly when there are a lot of people in goodwill out there who are willing to work on these issues. [White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 11/24/14]
President Obama Condemned Violence That Followed Grand Jury Decision. On November 25, President Obama condemned “criminal” violence that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case. The president condemned “burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property” and “putting people at risk” as inexcusable “criminal acts.” [Agence-France Presse, 11/25/14]