Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) on Friday afternoon railed against the people who took part in the protest in Dallas on Thursday night, charging that the protesters were “hypocrites” because, as he framed it, they were anti-police but expected the police to protect them once the shooting started.
“All those protesters last night, they ran the other way, expecting the men and women in blue to turn around and protect them. What hypocrites,” Patrick said on Fox News. “I understand the First Amendment. I understand freedom of speech, and I defend it. It is in our Constitution and is in our soul, but you can’t go out on social media and mainstream media and everywhere else and say that the police are racist or police are hateful or the police are killers.”
Patrick said that the officers killed in the shooting at the scene of the protest “lost their life protecting people who were protesting against them.”
Patrick recognized that the Dallas protest over the deadly shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota on Thursday night was peaceful, but he placed some blame for the deadly shooting on those who speak out against police violence.
“I do blame people on social media, with their hatred towards police. I do blame, I saw Jesse Jackson — I think it was on Fox the other night — calling police racist without any facts. I do blame former Black Lives Matters protests. Last night was peaceful, but others have not been,” Patrick said on Fox News.
The lieutenant governor said that there are only a “precious few thousand” law enforcement officers and warned that “we’re not going to have them much longer.”
Patrick argued that concern about police violence is new and must stop.
“This has to end. I grew up in a world — I’ve been around long enough that we always had bad people, we always had dangerous people, but the general public respected police,” he said. “Too many in the general public, who aren’t criminals but have a big mouth, are creating situations like we saw last night.”
“We have to have their back,” he later added, referring to police officers. “And I’m sick and tired of those who are protesting our police and putting their lives in danger.”