President Obama's silence on a wave of recent killings of police officers is being ripped by law enforcement, with one Maryland sheriff taking to Facebook to mock that he will "save you a spot next to me!" at this week's funerals for two deputies.
"Mr. President, your silence about these events SPEAKS VOLUMES!!!! PS: I'll be standing outside in the cold next week with my deputies for the funerals of the Harford Co deputies; I'll save you a spot next to me!" Facebooked Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees.
His post, blasted throughout law enforcement social media and highlighted by the National Sheriffs' Association, has become part of the rallying cry among cops that the president is ignoring attacks on them, and even fostering anti-police feelings.
The Fraternal Order of Police even called on Obama to expand hate-crime laws to those targeting police. In a letter also posted on Facebook, FOP President Chuck Canterbury wrote, "Mr. President, that is eight officers–six in less than a week–who have been gunned down by assailants striking from ambush or career criminals with active warrants who decided they would not be taken into custody, no matter the cost. Enough is enough! This must end."
DeWees made public the belief among many in law enforcement that the president is only concerned about violence when somebody is shot by a police officer.
His Facebook posting came after two nearby Harford County deputies were gunned down.
"I understand that you are a busy man and are being pulled in multiple directions every day of the week," wrote DeWees. "But, when my president doesn't take the time to openly recognize the sacrifices that brave men & women of law enforcement make each day to keep domestic peace, I'm disappointed! I suspect that if these same deputies walked in to a restaurant, and without provocation shot and killed an innocent man, you and your staff would quickly whisk their family away to Washington for a future speech to make an example of police officers nationwide," he added.
In interviews with Secrets, other national sheriffs expressed similar concerns. "We are the Vietnam Veterans of this generation," said Oakland County, Michigan Sheriff Michael Bouchard.
"What is everybody else's responsibility?" when it comes to reacting to police, he said. "This administration has done nothing to say, 'What's your duty as a citizen when the officer says stop.'"
DeWees concluded on Facebook, "For me Mr. President, it has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat; black or white, male or female; but, it has everything to do with leading or following. I'm not shocked that you haven't openly reached out or acknowledged publicly the recent rash of deaths in law enforcement, but I'm tremendously disappointed!"
And Canterbury added: "Elected officials are quick to console the families of the fallen and praise us for the difficult and dangerous work that we do every day. Yet, too many are silent when the hate speech floods the media with calls for violence against police or demands that police stand down and give them 'room to destroy.' The violence will not end until the rhetoric does which is why I have called on Congress and your Administration to work with us to address the surge of violence against police by expanding the Federal hate crimes law to protect police. We must stand up and reject, completely and without qualification, the use of violence, terror and hate as an instrument of social change. That is not who we are as Americans."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.