Right-wing media figures criticized President Barack Obama for speaking out against the recent killing of two black men in 48 hours by police officers. Conservative figures reacted by telling Obama to “shove it” and accused him of “dangerous” rhetoric.
Cameras Capture Police Shootings In Minnesota And Louisiana That Leave Two Black Men Dead
Footage Captures Police Killing Two Black Men In Two Days, One In His Car For A Traffic Violation And Another Shot In The Chest And Back. A police officer shot and killed Philando Castile in his car after being pulled over for a routine traffic violation in St. Paul, Minnesota. Castile’s death, captured on video, was the second high profile police killing of a black man this week after 37-year-old Alton Sterling “was shot in the chest and back by a Louisiana police officer” just one day before, also captured on video. [NPR, 7/7/16]
Obama Responds To Shootings, Points Out Disparities Of Police Shootings Against African-Americans And Hispanics
President Obama: “We’re Better Than This.” President Obama responded to the deaths of Castile and Sterling with a July 7 speech highlighting the problem of disparate use of police force against African-Americans and Hispanics, calling it a “serious problem.” Obama also added that admitting the problem of disparate police force “in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers”:
In his first public reaction to the shootings, Obama said it is clear they were not isolated incidents, adding that the U.S. had “seen such tragedies far too many times.” He said all Americans should be “deeply troubled” by the deaths in Baton Rouge and suburban St. Paul.
He says America must say “we're better than this.” He says it's not just a black or Hispanic issue.
“They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post.
“To admit we've got a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day,” Obama said. “It is to say that, as a nation, we can and must do better to institute the best practices that reduce the appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement.” [Associated Press, 7/7/16]
Fox News Immediately Attacks Obama’s Speech
Radio Host Laura Ingraham Calls Obama’s Comments “Dangerous.” Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham criticized Obama calling his comments “dangerous” because “we don’t know what happened”:
LAURA INGRAHAM: Those tapes look bad, but we don't know what happened. And pronouncing judgment on what happened, implicitly or explicitly, is dangerous. And the president speaks out on certain murders, and if this is a murder they should be prosecuted, but not on others including Kate Steinle’s. [Fox News, Special Report, 7/7/16]
Fox’s Charles Payne: “No Mention” Of “The Crimes In Chicago And What I Consider Black-On-Black Genocide.” Fox Business host Charles Payne criticized Obama’s speech claiming the president ignored the shooting of a white victim shot by police and claimed Obama should have mentioned “black-on-black genocide” in Chicago:
CHARLES PAYNE (HOST): That was President Obama covering recent shootings involving Alton Sterling and Philando Castille. Brought up in the beginning a lot of statistics on crime or interactions between police and blacks, saying they're 30 percent more likely to be pulled over, three times more likely to be searched and shot by a white police officer, two times more often than white people. He said that the sort of underlying prejudices that he senses there hurt. He also went on to say that people who question protest and vigils as being politically correct perhaps are too insensitive. No mention of Dylan Noble, a white kid who was recently shot in an encounter with white police officers in Fresno, California. Also, of course, we didn't hear a lot about the crimes in Chicago and what I consider black-on-black genocide. I think he's right. We do need to have a massive, major conversation in this country, put it all on the table, and it could start with the White House. [Fox Business, Making Money with Charles Payne, 7/7/16]