Given the protests in the wake of a police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., and in the wake of a new federal report finding civil rights abuses in the Newark Police Department, NJ Spotlight’s Matt Katz asked Gov. Chris Christie on Friday if he thought there was a general problem in this country with the way police deal with young African American men and teenagers. Christie said:
Listen I think it’s very dangerous to make generalizations about anybody like that, Matt. We have millions of dedicated men and women who are police officers across this country, who work in grave danger every day, who try to make sure they protect innocent people across the country. So I’m not going to get into this game of generalizing and characterizing people in that way. Everybody should be judged on their merits. Whatever happened in Ferguson, we have a justice system in this country that will be able to make that judgement and if there are people who need to be held accountable I’m confident they will be. But I’m not going to get into this business of generalizing against law enforcement officers. It’s not right.
NJ Spotlight also shares how Christie’s potential rival in the GOP presidential primary, Sen. Rand Paul, has taken an opposing view in Time, saying the protests in Ferguson were a direct result of the increasing “militarization” of police, which is a “systemic problem with today’s law enforcement.”
Yesterday President Obama delivered a statement and provided an update on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri and the federal investigation into the tragic death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
I’ve said this before — in too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement. In too many communities, too many young men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear.