A Republican senator attributed the assassination-style killing of two NYC police officers to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri following the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Appearing on KMBZ in Kansas City on Monday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) speculated that criticism of police tactics from his own constituents in the aftermath of the shooting may have “led to the deaths of those two officers.”
“Piling on to the police and the equipment that they’re using, particularly when you really don’t explain what’s out there in a way that’s helpful,” Blunt said, referring to criticism of how police in Missouri handled the initial protests. “You got the police out there protecting the protesters and themselves and being constantly criticized for everything they’re doing and now that may be from that constant criticism something may have gotten into this man’s head.”
“We have to wonder about was there anything going on in the national discussion that led to the deaths of those two officers,” he concluded.
Blunt joins a growing chorus of conservatives who have sought to pin the gruesome killing, attributed to 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, on the Obama administration, other public figures, and protesters who have called for reforms to the justice system after grand juries in two cases failed to indict police officers who shot and killed unarmed black men. Civil rights leaders immediately condemned the police killing.
Brinsley wrote on an Instagram account that the murders of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were revenge for these deaths, but shot his girlfriend just hours before the police massacre and has been described as a drifter with a history of mental health issues.