(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have fueled animosity towards the police through political rhetoric and “created a pathway that contributes to an unjustifiable hatred of law enforcement officers across the country,” said Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr., now in his 37th year of law enforcement and who was named the 2013 Sheriff of the Year.
Sheriff Clarke added that the now-contrite statements from Obama and De Blasio, following the assassination of two police officers in New York City, are “hollow,” a “day late and a dollar short.”
“I don’t accept it,” said Sheriff Clarke in a Dec. 22 interview on WMAL radio in Washington, D.C. “I think it’s politically advantageous for them to make those statements now and try to walk back what they did.”
“Our law enforcement officers are not the problem in America,” said Clarke, now in his third (four-year) elected term as sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisc. “Our law enforcement officers are one of the few things left that’s right about America.”
“And for these people in these high-profile positions to disparage their reputation with a broad brush like that, I found it sickening,” he said. “I found it despicable.”
“Eric Holder has indicted an entire honorable profession as being nothing more than a bunch of bloodthirsty racial profiling racists, individuals and agencies, yet he can’t cite any proof,” said Sheriff Clarke. “So, they’re showing their true colors there, and then all of a sudden when something tragic happens like over the weekend and they come across with these feigned statements of empathy and sympathy – I’m just not buying it.”
Clarke made his remarks during an interview on WMAL’s “Drive at Five” program with guest host Austin Hill. In opening the program, Hill mentioned the two police officers assassinated in Manhattan – Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu – on Saturday and the fatal shooting of Officer Charles Kondek in Tarpon Springs, Fla., on Sunday.
Hill asked Clarke, “Give us your assessment of what transpired over the weekend – I should also mention that along with two dead police officers in New York City, another officer [was] killed on duty in the state of Florida. In one weekend this seems to be what some of the protestors around the country wanted. What’s your assessment?”
Sheriff Clarke said, “Well, the thing that disappoints me the most is some very powerful people in this country – the president of the United States, Attorney General Eric Holder, Mayor Bill De Blasio of New York – have created a pathway that contributes to an unjustifiable hatred of law enforcement officers across the country. They trashed an entire profession with a broad brush because it was politically expedient for them to do so.”
“Unfortunately, we lost two of New York’s finest, and then you mentioned the officer in Florida over the weekend, in violence against the police, and that’s a tragic situation as well.,” said Clarke. “However, I notice that these individuals – de Blasio, the president, are issuing now contrite statements about how they respect and admire our law enforcement officers – I think it’s hollow. I don’t accept it.”
“I think it’s politically advantageous for them to make those statements now and try to walk back what they did,” said Clarke. “But as far as I’m concerned it’s a day late and a dollar short.”
“These men and women put on this uniform every day, like I have for 37 years, and they go out and serve their communities with distinction, with honor, with courage, with sacrifice, integrity, character,” said the sheriff. “And for these people in these high-profile positions to disparage their reputation with a broad brush like that, I found it sickening. I found it despicable.”
He continued, “And I’ve been pushing back against this with a counter-narrative for easily a month, in extolling the virtue of our law enforcement officers, which is what they should have been doing at that time because it would have been the responsible thing to do. But they chose the politically expedient route instead.”
Host Austin Hill then mentioned the case of several New Black Panther Party members who were charged with voter intimidation but the Justice Department, subsequently headed by Eric Holder, then dropped the charges in mid-2009.
Given that Black Panther case, among others, said Hill, “Is there a sense in which the Obama administration is inflaming and encouraging bad behavior by ignoring it?”
Sheriff Clarke said, “I believe that’s the case. I think these two [President Obama and Attorney General Holder] have indicated their dislike of the police even if it’s in coded language.”
“Remember what the president said about the Dr. Gates situation,” continued Clarke, “where the police responded to a call of a potential break-in that didn’t turn out to be – but the cops responding didn’t know that, they were just responding to a call for service – and the president said the police acted ‘stupidly’?”
“Then the president went on recently to say that our law enforcement officers across America are badly trained and they have a fear of people that don’t look like them,” said Clarke. “Eric Holder has indicted an entire honorable profession as being nothing more than a bunch of bloodthirsty racial profiling racists, individuals and agencies, yet he can’t cite any proof.”
“So, they’re showing their true colors there and then all of a sudden when something tragic happens like over the weekend and they come across with these feigned statements of empathy and sympathy – I’m just not buying it,” said the sheriff.
When Hill then asked what Americans and people in law-making should do to try to improve the situation, Sheriff Clarke said, “We [need] to get back to more responsible messaging from people in high-profile positions. The reason why I think it starts there is because they have a huge platform. When the president of the United States speaks, when the attorney general speaks, everybody listens.”
“So they have to choose their words carefully,” said Clarke. “These are smart guys and they know that, but they chose the politically expedient route instead. That’s why I’ve been trying to change this debate away from this hatred of not only law enforcement officers all across the United States, but our justice system as well.”
“Look, our system of justice is not broken --all right?” he said. “It is imperfect, we know that. It’s imperfect because it’s run by human beings and human beings are imperfect. You’re entitled to due process in the United States of America. You are not entitled to an outcome.”
“And the reason I’m saying this, Austin, is not because you don’t know that [but] this is the messaging that should have come from the lips of the president of the United States and Eric Holder,” said the sheriff.
“Sometimes our system of justice gets it wrong," he said. "There’s no doubt about that. I thought the system of justice got it wrong in the O.J. Simpson case where he got away with murder.”