The sheriff of Spokane County, Washington is reportedly “standing by his remarks” that blamed former President Barack Obama for increased violence against law enforcement.
Those comments came last weekend at a “Spirit of America” rally in Spokane, according to the Spokane Spokesman-Review. Here’s what Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said that has raised some eyebrows:
“I’ve seen the time when no one wants to wear a badge. Never in my history have we been hunted and assassinated, and I blame Barack Obama.”
According to KIRO7 News, “The chairman of the Spokane County Democrats, Andrew Biviano, is urging the sheriff to tone down his rhetoric and use more nuanced language.”
This raises the question: Why should the sheriff do that, especially after this week’s events?
The Seattle Times and Spokane Spokesman-Review have been reporting on the shooting of a sheriff’s deputy during a four-hour standoff in Colbert Monday. The suspect in that case, identified as 47-year-old Dean J. Bellamy, is dead from a gunshot wound to the head. The deputy took a bullet to the shoulder and is recovering.
One news agency reportedly said that the number of peace officers intentionally killed each year has been going down and “reached historic lows during Obama’s presidency,” but many people contend that the former president was divisive. A look at statistics kept by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows some variations that may not support the claim.
Police have been targeted. The most significant incident occurred last year in Dallas when five police officers were gunned down by a sniper taking advantage of a protest march.
Knezovich, who was not in uniform for the weekend event, didn’t restrict his criticism of the ex-president, either. According to the Spokesman-Review, he also contended that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was wrong when he signed an executive order regarding enforcement of immigration laws by state agencies.
“I can tell you that 39 sheriffs are about to let Mr. Inslee know that we’re going to do our jobs,” he reportedly stated.
Inslee came under fire earlier this week from Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, who used the terms “dunderhead” and “idiot” when discussing Inslee’s position on enforcing laws against illegal immigration.
On the flip side, the sheriff said of President Donald Trump: “He’s doing everything that he said that he would.”