Milwaukee County, WI Sheriff David Clarke and Marc Lamont locked horns Monday over the impact that the Black Lives Matter movement is having on America.
Pointing to the murder of a Texas deputy on Friday, Sheriff Clarke argued that the BLM movement is fostering an anti-police sentiment that is encouraging activists to go out and attack officers.
Meanwhile, Lamont argued that BLM is a force agitating for social change, particularly when it comes to holding accountable officers who use deadly force against unarmed black people.
“I think very fair in light of the anti-cop rhetoric that is sweeping the United States of America, fueled by this group, some of the vulgar, vile, vicious rhetoric coming out talking about killing cops,” said Clarke about BLM.
“That’s some of the nice stuff. Some of the stuff I can’t even say here on TV. But there’s no doubt in my mind that the two New York officers, [Rafael] Ramos and [Wenjian] Liu, were gunned down by an individual who made Facebook postings about wanting to kill pigs. And he was going to go out and hunt officers down,” he continued.
“There have been officers across the United States who had their cruisers shot at and struck while they patrolled in St. Louis — the same thing,” said Clarke. “This is part of a pattern. You would have to stick your head in the sand to think this wasn’t fueled by this vile, vulgar, slimy movement.”
Lamont said we shouldn’t rush to link the BLM with the suspect who murdered the Texas officer.
“[E]ven if you think those people didn’t get what they deserves, as a police officer, I hope you wouldn’t say two wrongs make a right. If anything, we should be emphasizing due process and investigation here,” said Lamont. “In this case, the people handling the case in Texas themselves have said, they clearly — we don’t know the motive. So, you are essentially saying that your colleagues in law enforcement who say we don’t know the motive are wrong and you know the motive.”
“The second piece I want to say is your characterization of Black Lives Matter is incorrect,” Lamont continued. “The argument of black lives matter is not to say that police officers should be killed, that police officers should be demonized, that police officers should be marginalized. The argument of Black Lives Matter is that police officers should be held to standards of accountability like everybody else. The increased number of black bodies, which die at the hands of state violence needs to end. While we regard all lives, we cannot exclude black lives.”
What are your thoughts? How do you see the Black Lives Matter movement?