Texas Lt. Gov. walks back remark calling Dallas protesters ‘hypocrites’ for fleeing gunfire
DALLAS, Texas — Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Friday walked back his remark that protesters who fled gunfire in Dallas were “hypocrites” because they wanted police to protect them despite their outrage over recent killings of black men by cops.
“All those protesters last night, they ran the other way, expecting the men and women in blue to turn around and protect them. What hypocrites,” Patrick said on Fox News earlier Friday. “I understand the First Amendment. I understand freedom of speech and I defend it. It is in our Constitution and is in our soul, but you can’t go out on social media and mainstream media and everywhere else and say that the police are racist or the police are hateful or the police are killers.”
Patrick blamed civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and Black Lives Matter activists for the mayhem Thursday night.
“And I do blame people on social media with their hatred towards police. I do blame — I saw Jesse Jackson, I think it, was on Fox the other night, calling police racist without any facts,” the Republican told Fox News’ Harris Faulkner. “I do blame former Black Lives Matter protesters. Last night was peaceful but others have not been, and we heard “pigs in a blanket.”
“This has to stop, Harris. These are real people,” he added.
Patrick later told CNN’s Jim Sciutto that he was frustrated that police don’t receive more support.
“What I meant by that is that if we, as a society, are not going to be supportive of our police — doesn’t mean we don’t hold people accountable when they make a mistake — but if we aren’t going to be supportive of law enforcement and if we’re out there protesting and then something happens, and then what do we do? What do we do? We turn around to the people we were just protesting against, and we say, ‘Here, go and protect us.’ And that’s what they did,” Patrick said.
Patrick said activists need to be “very clear” about which cops they are protesting.
“It was a very peaceful protest but what we also know is we have seen throughout the last several years there has been a lot of rhetoric that has been geared toward all police officers,” he said. “I think that within the protests, they have to be sure it’s very clear that they aren’t protesting every officer and calling every officer out.”
Five Dallas officers were shot and killed Thursday night as demonstrators protested back-to-back police shooting deaths of two African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier in the week.