Once again weighing in on a situation before all of the facts had been reported, Barack Obama used a brief pause in his vacation to blast police officers in Ferguson, Mo. dealing with violent riots that have plagued the city for nearly a week.
Looters and protesters have taken over much of the St. Louis suburb in recent days following the shooting death of Mike Brown, a black man suspected of robbing a convenience store, by a local officer on Saturday.
From Martha’s Vineyard Thursday, Obama criticized “those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting” before turning his attention to the law enforcement professionals tasked with maintaining order in the city.
He asserted that there is “no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights.”
Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police – the world’s largest law enforcement organization – responded to Obama’s statement, suggesting he made a hasty assertion without fully understanding what officers in Ferguson were facing.
“I’m not there, and neither is the president,” he said. “That is why we have due process in the United States.”
He is confident that the ordeal will be “sorted out over time,” noting that he has not personally seen any evidence that “the police are doing anything except to restore order.”
I hope Jim Pasco is ready for his Joe The Plumber moment … and has his taxes in order. #Ferguson
— OwenBrennan (@OwenBrennan) August 14, 2014
Pasco urged Obama to allow local authorities to handle the situation without his detached input.
“I think what he has to do as president and as a constitutional lawyer is remember that there is a process in the United States and the process is being followed, for good or for ill, by the police and by the county and by the city and by the prosecutor’s office,” he asserted.
Recalling another situation from earlier in Obama’s presidency, Pasco noted that this is not the first such foray into the dealings of a local law enforcement agency. He cited the 2009 arrest of a Harvard University professor, during which Obama claimed officers “acted stupidly.”
Furthermore, Pasco questioned the propriety of making his comments on the way to the golf course to continue his vacation.
“I would contend that discussing police tactics from Martha’s Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation,” he said.
Photo Credit: Twitter/Ray Downs
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom