OZY on CNN: Blaming Protest for Violence Against Police

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Why you should care

Because any police death is one too many, but accountability isn’t fatal. 

Two closely spaced fatal shootings of police officers — sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth near Houston and Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz in Fox Lake, Illinois — have prompted the first stirrings of backlash against the protesters who are demanding more accountability from the police themselves. In Houston, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman aimed a barb at the Black Lives Matter movement, arguing that “when the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassinations of police officers happen, this rhetoric has gotten out of control.” Sen. Ted Cruz, a GOP candidate for president, also blamed “harsh rhetoric and the vilification of police officers,” although he pointed his finger at President Obama and the Justice Department.

Other TV commentators and police defenders have taken up the same charge in even more pointed terms. OZY Editor-in-Chief Carlos Watson joined New York Times columnist Charles Blow and CNN host Michaela Pereira to discuss claims that criticism of police can incite criminal violence, and whether we’re actually experiencing an “epidemic” of violence against peace officers.

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Square pegs. Round holes.