Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani argued on Thursday that Darren Wilson, the white police officer who last summer shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson, Missouri, should be praised for doing his job.
“What happened in Ferguson is a man committed a robbery, attempted to assault a police officer and the police officer — to save his life — shot him,” Giuliani said on Fox News’ “American Newsroom. “The police officer did his duty. The police officer should be commended for what he did.”
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The Republican’s remarks came the day after Ferguson was again rocked by violence when two police officers were shot and injured outside the city’s police department. The violence occurred as protesters began to disperse after a demonstration surrounding the resignation of Ferguson’s police chief Tom Jackson.
Jackson’s decision to call it quits came on the heels of a scathing Justice Department report that revealed widespread racial bias by Ferguson's primarily white police force against the city’s mostly African-American population. About 70% of the community is black, while, as of this past August, only three out of 50 officers were black. A St. Louis County grand jury in November ruled that it would not indict Wilson, who was eventually cleared of civil rights violations by the Justice Department in March.
Giuliani also weighed in on Wednesday night’s shooting, in which no arrests have been made. He suggested the demonstrators were to blame and the violence was a result of an “atmosphere of unbalance,” partially attributable, he argued, to the Justice Department report and remarks by the Obama Administration.
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“All we talk about is ‘the police did this wrong, the police did that wrong, the police did this wrong.’ That’s a footnote. The major headline is ‘the police of the United States make is possible for you and me to go home every night and be safe,” said Giuliani. He later said the two police officer who were shot “weren’t there because they wanted to be there, they were there because people were rioting.”
Witnesses told a number of news organizations, including msnbc, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal that the shots did not come directly from the protesters but from a distant hill.
Giuliani, in recent months, has made a series of eyebrow-raising remarks. That includes arguing President Obama doesn’t love his country and calling on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to place police officers in the city’s mosques in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris.