The Obama administration is attempting to publicly downplay a rift between President Obama and FBI Director James Comey over The Ferguson Effect; the issue of whether there’s been an impact on violent crime due to the nearly constant criticism of the police led by the Black Lives Matter movement.
The back peddling comes on the heels of a volley of attacks on Comey that came from the media, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and President Obama himself. Obama and Comey had a closed door meeting on Thursday.
The Washington Post reported that “White House officials were privately irritated” about Comey’s remarks in two recent speeches discussing a possible link between soaring violent crime rates and the deluge of activism against law enforcement.
The attacks on law enforcement have been spearheaded by the Black Lives Matter movement, the activist phenomenon that the president publicly recently claimed was not anti-police. The claim that the #BlackLivesMatter movement is not against law enforcement runs counter to the group’s statements and actions, including taunting police after the murder of fellow officers, as well as their lionizing of convicted cop killer Assata Shakur, who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List.
In an attempt at damage control on Friday, White House Press Spokesman Josh Earnest said that President Obama believes “somebody who has the prodigious skills of Director Comey must be involved in grappling with the difficult policy debates that we’re having in this country right now in balancing security and the protection of civil liberties.”
Earlier in the week, however, Earnest had scoffed at the notion of the Ferguson Effects, saying evidence “does not support the notion that law enforcement officers around the country are shying away from fulfilling their responsibilities.”
That official White House comment was just part of a series of attacks on Comey and his statements by the president and his allies.
After Comey’s October 23rd remarks at the University of Chicago Law School, where Comey said, “I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement,” President Obama hit back with thinly veiled comments in a speech on October 27th to the International Association of Chiefs of Police: “What we can’t do is cherry-pick data or use anecdotal evidence to drive policy or to feed political agendas.”
The day before Obama’s speech, protestors had held a #StopTheCops protest outside the international Association of Chiefs of Police conference.
However, Comey’s discussions with police officials were not merely off-the-cuff chit-chat. In fact, the information Comey got from law enforcement officials came in a series of “listening sessions” focused on issues of race and law enforcement.
Source: Breitbart | LEE STRANAHAN