We can add a new chapter to the annals of divisive anti-cop rhetoric President Barack Obama has embraced over the past seven and a half years. On Monday, just one day after three cops were ambushed and killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the president suggested that if cops “admit there’s a problem’ then they will be “a lot safer.”
The president’s remarks came during a press conference alongside the President of Spain.
“If police organizations and departments acknowledge that there’s a problem and there’s an issue, then that, too, is going to contribute to real solutions,” Obama said. “And, as I said yesterday, that is what’s going to ultimately help make the job of being a cop a lot safer.” Eight cops have been killed in anti-police attacks in the past 10 days, including five officers in Dallas, Texas.
The president also took the opportunity to praise Black Lives Matter; the group cited by Dallas cop-killer Micah Johnson as part of his inspiration. In his statement, he comparing the group to abolitionists and advocates of women’s suffrage.
“The abolition movement was contentious. The effort for women to get the right to vote was contentious and messy,” the president said. “There were times when activists might have engaged in rhetoric that was overheated and occasionally counterproductive. But the point was to raise issues so that we, as a society, could grapple with it. The same was true with the Civil Rights Movement, the union movement, the environmental movement, the anti-war movement during Vietnam. And I think what you’re seeing now is part of that longstanding tradition.”