Racially charged comments by President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the Rev. Al Sharpton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are to blame for the cold-blooded executions of two cops, retired NYPD lieutenant commander Vernon Geberth told Newsmax TV
"The anti-police rhetoric I've heard over the last few months has been the worst I've seen in 40 years," the renowned former lawman — who wrote what is considered "The Bible of Homicide Investigation" — said Monday on Newsmax's "The Steve Malzberg Show."
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"I think we can trace . . . this anti-cop rhetoric directly to the comments made by President Obama [and] Eric Holder's appearance in Ferguson (Missouri), talking about finding out the truth. Well, that's why we have grand juries.
"We don't have lynch mobs . . . We get the facts. And what happened, beginning with Ferguson and then with the Staten Island situation, somehow these things were lumped into racial events. They were criminal events, and it was only exacerbated by de Blasio's comments."
Geberth — president of PHI Investigative Consultants, which provides instruction in homicide and forensic investigations — made his comments after the murders of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.
Ramos, a father of two, and Liu, a newlywed, were shot dead by a gunman as they sat in their patrol car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn on Saturday.
Ismaaiyl Brinsely, who then killed himself, had suggested on social media that he would avenge the deaths of African-Americans Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of white police officers in New York and Ferguson, Missouri.
In the Garner case, a grand jury declined to indict an officer who placed what is thought to have been a lethal chokehold on the suspect, who was being arrested for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.
It sparked days of protests around the city, and de Blasio said he feared for the safety of his biracial son Dante around NYPD officers. The comment infuriated police, some of whom turned their backs on the mayor when he showed up at the hospital where the slain officers were brought.
"When he said he taught his son to be afraid of the police . . . I'm not surprised that this happened," Geberth told host Steve Malzberg.
"I think it's despicable that people who are elected politicians and [are] supposed to be leaders of this country would send out such divisive messages that would cause someone like Brinsley to act out and kill.
"We talk about Muslims who are radicalized in this country. There's no doubt in my mind that Brinsley . . . was radicalized by the anti-cop rhetoric spewed forth by Sharpton, de Blasio, Holder and Obama."
Geberth said "words and deeds" are important — and, in this case, some words were so acerbic that they led to tragedy.
"The atmosphere that has been created has placed police officers as targets, [with] targets on their back, and I would hate to see us go back to the 1970s [in New York City]. Those were scary times," Geberth said.
He urged the nation's leaders to stop making explosive remarks critical of law enforcement and to strive to respect the principles of the Constitution.
"Common sense is supposed to prevail. You're not going to have common sense with inflammatory statements and incendiary situations," Geberth said.
"I would like to have a discussion with the leaders of this country and these politicians . . . [to] respect the process of the law. When you tell folks the system is broken because they didn't get a specific outcome they wanted, then the next thing will be the Constitution.
"We have grand juries for a specific reason. It allows people to give testimony in secret without being subject to the mob rule."
Geberth is renowned as "the man who wrote the book on murder" for his ground-breaking book "Practical Homicide Investigation," which is considered the definitive guide on murder probes.
He retired as commanding officer of the Bronx Homicide Task Force, which handled over 400 murder investigations a year, and says he personally investigated, supervised or consulted on over 8,000 cases.
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