Christie Under Fire for Saying Black Lives Matter Calls for Murder of Police
Gov. Chris Christie (R) is taking criticism for his comments about the organization Black Lives Matter on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
Responding to comments made by President Barack Obama last week in support of the group, formed after the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, the governor said "I don't believe that group just be justified when they're calling for the murder of police officers."
Challenged on that statement by host John Dickerson, Christie continued: "Sure they are, sure they are. They've been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers."
Christie said Obama's support of the group shows that he does not enforce law enforcement.
"The problem is this, there's lawlessness in this country," Christie said. "The president encourages this lawlessness. He encourages it."
Obama last week defended the Black Lives Matter movement, saying protests are giving voice to a problem happening only in African-American communities, the Associated Press reported at the time.
"We, as a society, particularly given our history, have to take this seriously," Obama said.
In a statement, Udi Ofer, the Executive Director of the ACLU's New Jersey chapter, called for Christie to apologize for what he called an "irresponsible, irresponsible, offensive and flat-out-wrong" comment.
Ofer wrote that Black Lives Matter is part of a "growing consensus" demanding transparency and accountability from the nation's police forces which are part of a "broken justice system."
Ofer cited the Newark Police Department being cited last year by the United States Department for "a pattern and practice of unconstitutional policing" as an example of what he called a "broken justice system."
A call to the NJ State Policemen's Benevolent Association for comments has not yet been returned.
Black Lives Matter on its website writes it is an "ideological and political intervention in a world where black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression."