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Conservative Media And Cop Killers Of A Different Color

On June 8, 2014, white, anti-government, tea party supporters shot and killed two Las Vegas police officers. Conservative media was conspicuously silent.

On Saturday, Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos as they sat in their patrol car, in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Brinsley, who had made “very anti-police” statements on Instagram, was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police spokesmen and conservative media were quick to blame the murders on the widespread protests of police killings of unarmed black males such as Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Tamir Rice, and others.

None was more outspoken than failed presidential candidate, and former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani. On “Fox & Friends Sunday,” Giuliani blamed the officers deaths on “four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police.”

GIULIANI: We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president that everybody should hate the police. I don’t care how you want to describe it, that’s what those protests are all about. The protests are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged, the protests, even the ones that don’t lead to violence, and a lot of them lead to violence, all lead to a conclusion: the police are bad, the police are racists. That is completely wrong. Actually the people who do the most for the Black community in America are the police.

Never mind that President Obama called for anyone who protests these shootings and grand jury decisions to “do so peacefully.” Never mind that the president has said that there’s “no excuse” for violence. The irony of a black president is that his most innocuous utterances that America still has racial problems are interpreted by conservatives as radical and “anti-white.”


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Never mind that a majority of cop killers have been white. Conservatives blame police killings of, and violence against blacks, on black lawlessness run amok.

Never mind that the #BlackLivesMatter movement has condemned the murders of officers Liu and Ramos. Conservatives blame the movement collectively for the murder of officers Liu and Ramos.

Never mind that Brinsley had his own run in with NYPD last year. Never mind that Brinsley had a long history of mental illness. Conservatives will blame the #BlackLivesMatter movement for his crimes.

This conservative penchant for collective blaming was absent on June 8, when Jerad and Amanda Miller — both white — shot and killed Las Vegas police officers Igor Soldo and Alyn Beck, as they had lunch at a strip mall. The couple dragged the officers’ bodies from their booth, draped Beck’s body with the yellow “Gasden flag” popular with the tea party movement, and pinned a note to Soldo’s body reading “This is the beginning of the revolution.” The couple stole the officers guns and ammunition, and fled to a local Walmart. Jerad Miller was shot and killed by police. Amanda Miller died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Reports surfaced of Jerad Miller’s anti-government posts to Facebook, and Alex Jones “Infowars” message board — including a post titled, “The Police (to kill or not to kill).” The Millers camped out at Cliven Bundy’s ranch, where Bundy’s “militia” pointed guns at sheriff’s deputy’s and threatened to kill federal officers. Jerad Miller was even interviewed at the ranch, before being booted for his “radical” views.

Conservatives were less than outraged. Instead of blaming Cliven Bundy, Alex Jones, or the tea party movement, they tried to paint the Millers as radical leftists. Conservative media refused to call the Las Vegas shooting terrorism.

Perhaps Ismaaiyl Brinsley is just a cop killer of a different color, as far as conservative media is concerned.

Terrance Heath

Terrance Heath

Terrance Heath is the Online Producer at Campaign for America's Future. He has consulted on blogging and social media consultant for a number of organizations and agencies. He is a prominent activist on LGBT and HIV/AIDS issues.

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