Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke blasted President Obama’s rhetoric Friday in the wake of the shooting deaths of five law enforcement officers in Dallas.
Sheriff Clarke, appearing on “Fox and Friends” to discuss Micah Xavier Johnson, the 25-year-old man accused of ambushing Dallas police officers at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest, said Mr. Obama uses the bully pulpit after tragedies in ways that sow anger and resentment among the population.
“He’s usually popping off at the mouth before he’s been briefed or before he knows any of the facts like he did yesterday,” the sheriff said regarding Mr. Obama’s response to the two black men in Louisiana and Minnesota who were fatally shot by police officers.
“Without any foundation, he talked about racism and disparate treatment and people of color — all this nonsense,” the sheriff continued. “Like I said, he’s armed with powerful words and he uses those words irresponsibly. It fuels this sort of anger towards the American police officer. I wish he’d knock it off.”
Alton Sterling, 37, was shot and killed Tuesday in Baton Rouge after officers responded to a call about a black man making threats with a gun. The U.S. Justice Department has launched criminal investigation into the incident.
Philando Castile, 32, was shot Wednesday just outside Minneapolis during a traffic stop. The man informed police he was legally armed prior to the shooting. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, used Facebook to live-stream the aftermath.
Mr. Obama said Thursday that it was clear such shootings were “not isolated incidents,” and then referred to them as “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.”
The president then said his assessment “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.”
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