Conservatives seized on the shooting deaths of two New York City police officers on Saturday to attack President Obama, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and other figures who have spoken out on the fraught relationship between police and minority communities, with some going so far as to blame them for the killings of the two officers.
The two officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot at point-blank range in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. The suspect, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, then killed himself. Brinsley, who had threatened to kill police officers on social media in response to the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, had traveled to New York from Baltimore, where authorities believe he also shot his ex-girlfriend.
Merely by voicing concerns about police treatment of black men like Garner and Brown, many conservatives asserted, figures like Obama, de Blasio, and Attorney General Eric Holder encouraged vigilantism against law enforcement. Appearing on "Fox News Sunday" this morning, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, “They have created an atmosphere of severe, strong, anti-police hatred in certain communities. For that, they should be ashamed of themselves."
Similar sentiments could be found throughout the conservative Twittersphere, where former New York Gov. George Pataki, who says he's considering a 2016 run for president, called the shootings a "predictable outcome" of "anti-cop rhetoric":
RedState.com editor Erick Erickson, meanwhile, worked in a favorite right-wing jab at the president:
Some conservatives, including actor Adam Baldwin, called for de Blasio -- who poignantly spoke of having to warn his biracial son about avoiding police suspicion -- to resign:
Former Congressman Joe Walsh, a Tea Party Republican from Illinois, was particularly incensed, issuing a series of angry tweets placing blame squarely on Obama, Holder, and de Blasio:
Right-wing media personality Dana Loesch pounced on the killings to condemn "instigators":
Among other conservatives, Walsh blasted Obama for not swiftly issuing a statement on Liu and Ramos' deaths, although the president did release a statement condemning the "murder of two police officers in New York City," adding that officers “deserve our respect and gratitude every single day. Tonight, I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal — prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen.”
But conservatives like Michelle Malkin still found fault with the statement, excoriating him for not releasing it earlier: