Before officials on Wednesday said that Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz died of suicide, the Illinois police officer’s death spurred commentators and Illinois residents to rally against Black Lives Matter, placing blame on the group’s rhetoric for the deaths of police officers.
Police groups quickly compared Gliniewicz’s death to the shooting death of Texas sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth and charged that police officers were under attack.
“There’s a hostile element within the community at large,” Jim Pasco, executive director of the national Fraternal Order of Police, told the Washington Post after Gliniewicz’s death in September. “There’s in many incidences a lack of support on the part of elected officials and police management. And there’s this ubiquitous social-media effort to discredit all police officers because of the extraordinarily rare misconduct by a very few.”
Ron Hosko, president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, penned an op-ed in USA Today railing against the Black Lives Matter movement’s “dangerous” rhetoric in the wake of the deaths of Gliniewicz and Goforth.
“Despite the current lack of hard data and empirical evidence in both the murder of deputy Goforth and the broader spike in violent crimes across the country, concluding that both stem from the anti-cop themes from such protesters, liberal politicians and the mainstream media is hardly counterintuitive,” he wrote. “That movement, while having the opportunity to propound much needed, responsible themes on police reform, has too often drifted into the rhetoric of ignorance and hate.”
Members of the Fox Lake community mourned Gliniewicz’s death with signs showing support for police officers that read “Police Lives Matter” and “We Stand with Blue,” NBC Chicago reported.
“Out here today to show that police lives matter, every life matters,” Fox Lake resident Gina Maria told NBC. “I think it’s time we rally around our law enforcement and stop the madness.”