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GOP congressman blames rising crime in 2020 on President Obama

Rep. Brian Babin falsely accused President Barack Obama of demonizing law enforcement.

By Oliver Willis - July 09, 2021
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Brian Babin

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) claimed during an appearance on the right-wing One America News network on Thursday that increases in crime are the fault of former President Barack Obama, and that people who experience a “little problem” with a police officer are to blame for not cooperating with them.

“It actually started back in Obama’s term when he began to demonize the police and it’s just gotten worse and worse, until there are whole segments of our society that just don’t feel like they need to cooperate with the police. If they’re going to be arrested,” said Babin, who is white, “you know, it’s the first thing my dad taught me when I became a teenager, he said, If you’re having a little problem with a police officer, you just say, ‘Yes sir, no sir,’ and do everything he says, and we’ll straighten it out later. But now, we’ve got people that don’t think they have to cooperate with the police.”

Babin did not mention any of the numerous instances in which Black citizens have complied with the orders of police officers and yet were still injured or killed by them, nor the support expressed by President Obama for law enforcement.

In video taken from a police car dash camera from July 6, 2016, Philando Castile is shown complying with police officers’ requests for license and insurance cards and informing them that he had a concealed weapon. The officer who approached the car first responds by shooting Castile and killing him.

Eric Garner, George Floyd, and many other people, more than half of whom were Black, have also complied with police orders but have nevertheless died as a result of officers’ actions.

Responding on July 7, 2016, to the killings of Castile and Alton Sterling in 2016, President Obama said in a statement, “To admit we’ve got a serious problem in no way contradicts our respect and appreciation for the vast majority of police officers who put their lives on the line to protect us every single day. It is to say that, as a nation, we can and must do better to institute the best practices that reduce the appearance or reality of racial bias in law enforcement.”

On July 18 of that year, Obama released a letter in the wake of killings of police officers that read in part:

Every day, you confront danger so it does not find our families, carry burdens so they do not fall to us, and courageously meet test after test to keep us safe.

 

[… ]

 

Every day, you accept this responsibility and you see your colleagues do their difficult, dangerous jobs with equal valor.  I want you to know that the American people see it, too.  We recognize it, we respect it, we appreciate it, and we depend on you.  And just as your tight-knit law enforcement family feels the recent losses to your core, our Nation grieves alongside you.  Any attack on police is an unjustified attack on all of us.

 

[…]

 

As you continue to serve us in this tumultuous hour, we again recognize that we can no longer ask you to solve issues we refuse to address as a society.  We should give you the resources you need to do your job, including our full-throated support.  We must give you the tools you need to build and strengthen the bonds of trust with those you serve, and our best efforts to address the underlying challenges that contribute to crime and unrest.

Recent increases in homicides have been attributed by experts to possible stresses exacerbated by the viral outbreak, while right-wing media like Fox News has attempted to lay the blame on progressives and Democrats pursuing criminal justice reform.

Babin also spoke of “Democrats that continue to demonize the police, want to continue to defund them.”

But funding for law enforcement was included in the American Rescue Act, which passed both Houses of Congress without a single Republican vote in favor.

Babin’s was one of the nay votes.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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