GOP Lawmakers Blame Activists for Murders

     DALLAS (CN) – Several Texas Republicans were quick to blame Thursday night’s murder of five Dallas police officers on Black Lives Matter protests and rhetoric, ignoring calls by Mayor Mike Rawlings and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for unity.
     Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick angrily called protesters “hypocrites” for running away from a sniper’s bullets while expecting protection from police “that they were protesting” against.
     “All these protesters last night, they turned around and ran the other way expecting the men and women in blue to protect them,” he said during an appearance on Fox News on Friday. “What hypocrites.”
     The protest in Dallas was one of many throughout the nation in the wake of two high-profile killings of black men by police in recent days. A video of an unarmed Alton Sterling being shot to death by Baton Rouge police went viral on Tuesday.
     One day later, a video of Philando Castile after being shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis also went viral.
     Police say Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, of Mesquite, began firing at officers with a long-rifle at the end of an otherwise peaceful protest and march against police brutality.
     Johnson killed five Dallas police officers, wounded seven more and wounded two civilians before being cornered at a parking garage near El Centro College downtown. Johnson was ultimately killed by a police robot that detonated an explosive after he told police negotiators that he wanted to kill white people and white police officers, in particular.
     Patrick said the officers who engaged Johnson “never had a chance” because they were shot in the back.
     “I do blame people on social media with their hatred towards police,” he said. “I saw Rev. Jesse Jackson calling police racists without any facts. I do blame former Black Lives Matter protests last night was peaceful … this has to stop.”
     Patrick became visibly emotional when he described seeing the bodies of four dead officers wheeled by him on gurneys at a hospital.
     “Too many people in the public who aren’t criminals but who have a big mouth are creating situations [like] we saw last night,” he said.
     State Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, also blamed Black Lives Matter protesters on Friday.
     “Clearly the rhetoric of Black Lives Matters encouraged the sniper that shot Dallas police officers,” he tweeted. “The media needs to dispel the lies of Ferguson – ‘hands up – don’t shoot’ is a lie that continued in many of the protests.”
     U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, joined in, telling Fox Business that President Barack Obama has been “divisive” in handling rising tensions between police and blacks.
     “He always comes out against the cops but then he would usually be wrong,” he said. “This administration has supported Black Lives Matter – even its leaders have called out for killing cops.”
     Black Lives Matter activists swiftly condemned the attack. No Dallas chapter of the group exists – the protest and march were coordinated by the Next Generation Action Network activist group.
     “Yesterday’s attack was the result of the actions of a lone gunman,” Black Lives Matter said in a statement Friday. “To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible.”

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