GREENVILLE, South Carolina – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told the crowd at Heritage Action’s Take Back America Conference that President Obama needed to do more to praise police officers, citing the recent shooting of a police officer Darren Goforth in Houston.
"The men and women who wear the badge are doing the right thing every day, all the time,” Walker said.
His comments came in a state where police brutality has become a major issue over the year after a North Charleston police officer, Michael Slager, fatally shot Walter Scott, an unarmed black man who video showed was running away from him. Slager was subsequently indicted for murder and was recently denied bond while awaiting trial.
Walker spokeswoman Ashlee Strong clarified on Twitter that Walker did not mean cops were infallible, pointing to the governor's support for independent investigations into police shootings in Wisconsin. He called Scott's death "horrific" in April.
Walker was asked about the topic by Friday’s hosts after he penned an op-ed linking recent shootings targeting law enforcement officers to “a rise in anti-police rhetoric” that he accused Obama of encouraging by not condemning language at protests calling for police reform.
“If you focus on division like some in this administration has, you’re going to get more division,” Walker said on Friday.
Obama, for his part, called the shooting of Goforth “an affront to civilized society” and hailed the “uncommon bravery” of police officers in a statement last month.