Republican presidential hopefuls and law enforcement officials are urging the Obama administration to be more vocal about the recent attacks on police officers.
Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently told Fox News that “This is the president’s problem because he has not shown law and order to be the rule of the day.”
Christie specifically pointed to the 200 or so “sanctuary cities” that don’t enforce federal immigration law and Colorado and Washington, where the Department of Justice isn’t enforcing federal marijuana laws.
During the interview, Christie also said, “The president says little or nothing about these issues where police officers are being hunted.”
Last month, Texas Sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth was ambushed while filling up his cruiser at a suburban Houston gas station.
His death is seen by Republican politicians and law enforcement officials as a result of anti-police rhetoric created by the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to the White House, President Obama called Goforth’s widow two days later, offering condolences and prayers and saying the 10-year veteran was “contemptibly shot and killed.”
“Targeting police officers is completely unacceptable and an affront to civilized society,” the president also said in a statement. “We’ve got to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the door at the end of his shift. That comfort has been taken from Mrs. Goforth.”
Texas Senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz suggested that officer Goforth’s death was partly due to efforts by the president and others in his administration to “vilify law enforcement.”
Other critics argue that White House officials were more outspoken over the past 12 months when several black males died in police custody. They added that the lack of support for law enforcement officials following those incidents has made police officers more of a target.
Two weeks after officer Goforth’s death, Kentucky State Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder was killed by a suspect in a car chase. Later that day, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, another presidential candidate, suggested President Obama needed to do more.
In an interview with CNN, Governor Walker said, “He has been silent on this. And that’s an outrage.”
Some people have argued that the recent police deaths have been exaggerated and are being politicized. The FBI reported that the number of police officers killed by gunfire is down by about 26 percent from last year when 51 officers were killed by gunfire.