Members of the Black Lives Matter movement should not get “discouraged by those who would use your lawful actions as a cover for their heinous violence,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Friday.
Her encouragement of the radical movement came a few hours after five officers were gunned down and six were wounded by an African-American radical attacker during a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas.
Throughout her Friday statement, she zig-zagged between her calls for more political protests, her suggestions that cops should be blamed for the high number of African-Americans killed during interactions with law enforcement, and her calls for less violence during political protests.
“After the events this week, Americans across the country are feeling a sense of helplessness, of uncertainty, of fear. Now, these feelings are understandable and they are justified. But the answer must not be violence. The answer must never be violence,” Lynch said.
“Rather, the answer must be action: calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action. Calm, peaceful, collaborative and determined action. We must continue working to build trust between communities and law enforcement. We must continue working to guarantee every person in this country equal justice under the law,” she said.
She played up the administration’s pre-election focus on gun control, instead of the political conflicts that spur violence. “And we must take a hard look at the ease at which wrongdoers can get their hands on deadly weapons, and the frequency with which they use them,” she said.
Like many officials, Lynch also implied moral equivalence between the deliberately murdered officers in Dallas and the suspects killed by other police officers on duty. “This has been a week of profound grief and heartbreaking loss. The peaceful protest that was planned in Dallas last night was organized in response to the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. We have opened a civil rights investigation in Louisiana and we are providing assistance to local authorities in Minnesota who are leading the investigation there,” said Lynch.
“Today, we are feeling the devastating loss of Dallas Area Rapid Transit Officer Brent Thompson and four other fallen officers whose names remain unreleased as we await notification of all the families.”
She took time to say she sympathized with the growing number of families of dead police officers, but did not mention the several other officer killed since late 2014. “They are mourned by all of us. To the families of all who have lost their lives in this series of tragedies, we share your pain and your loss. To our brother and sisters that wear the badge, I want you to know that I am deeply grateful for the difficult and dangerous work you do every day, to keep our streets safe and our nation secure.”
Lynch repeatedly appeared to praise Black Lives Matter, though not by name, and encouraged black racial activists to continue demonstrating against police. “To those who seek to improve our country, through peaceful protest and protected speech, I want you to know that your voice is important. Do not be discouraged by those who would use your lawful actions as a cover for their heinous violence,” she continued.
“We will continue to safeguard your constitutional rights and to work with you in the difficult mission of building a better nation and a brighter future. And to all Americans, I ask you, I implore you: Do not let this week precipitate a new normal in this country. I ask you to turn to each other, not against each other as we move forward.”
But some of those demonstrators not easily restrained. Some black activists in Dallas called for murdering whites and police officers just last summer, telling one veteran: “We are going to rape and gut your pregnant wife, and your f—ing piece of sh-t unborn creature will be hung from a tree.”
The Attorney General also included some vague calls for unity amid her controversial support for the divisive BLM movement.
“And above all, we must reject the easy impulses of bitterness and rancor, and embrace the difficult work, but the important work, the vital work, of finding a path forward together. And above everything, we must remind ourselves that we are all Americans. And as Americans, we share not just a common land, but a common life. Not just common goals, but a common heart and soul.”