The Black Lives Matter movement is creating an environment that can put police officers at risk, Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said Sunday, accusing President Barack Obama of supporting the movement, encouraging “lawlessness” and not backing up law enforcement.
“I don’t believe that movement should be justified when they are calling for the murder of police officers,” Christie remarked to CBS. Told that some individual members have been recorded calling for the deaths of officers, Christie replied that the environment is “what the movement is creating.”
Black Lives Matter was established after the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin by an auxiliary patrol man in Florida, and has been embraced by the Democratic presidential candidates. The group said in September that are “targeting the brutal system of policing, not individual police.”
Police groups have bristled at that comment and pointed out people in marches have been recorded chanting for the deaths of police officers. During a protest outside Minnesota’s state fair this summer, for example, some marchers were recorded chanting to fry police.
In December, a man who has gone to Black Lives Matter marches shot and killed two New York City police officers sitting in their patrol cars in Brooklyn.