Missouri’s Republican Lieutenant Governor, Peter Kinder, reacted to the news of an arrest in the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson pretty much the way Fox News and their Republican BFFs have reacted to everything else that has happened in Ferguson since Michael Brown was shot and killed – by race baiting and attacking the Obama administration.
Host Arthel Neville’s first question to Kinder was a good one: “Where does the city of Ferguson go from here, in terms of staffing, structural and procedural changes?”
Rather than outline constructive steps for healing and progress, Kinder only seemed interested in slamming the protesters.
KINDER: Well, Arthel, first of all, we hope where we go from here is to get a respite. We hope that some of the protest leaders could give it a rest and proceed with their lives.
You know, where reforms are needed, Arthel, in the Ferguson police department, they’re being made. Whether it was warranted or not, the police chief resigned a few days ago. Police officers have been disciplined who were found to need it. Some have been dismissed and we have a city manager’s who’s resigned there. So we’ve had a number of reforms already just in the last few days and work and investigation continues.
…Ferguson is not a slum. And the good people of Ferguson need a respite from this nightly filling of the streets with protesters when, frankly, the reasonable expectations of protesters and citizens are being met.
No questions for Kinder about how Ferguson turned into such a powderkeg, why it took Eric Holder’s Department of Justice investigation to prompt those changes, and what did Kinder know or not know about the situation before the DOJ exposed it?
Instead, Neville said, “I understand the points that you’re making.” Then she opened the door for Kinder to attack Holder.
Neville read from a just-released statement from Holder saying that the arrest “sends a clear message that acts of violence against our law enforcement personnel will never be tolerated.” Holder also noted in his statement that there had been “significant cooperation” between federal authorities and the St. Louis county police and he promised a continued partnership.
As I’ve previously noted, Fox started blaming Holder for the shootings of the two police officers almost the moment it happened. Kinder joined the chorus during a previous appearance on Fox News. So don’t tell me that bringing up Holder’s name here was anything more than a pretext for more of the same.
“What do you say to that statement, sir?” Neville “asked.”
Sure enough, Kinder unloaded on Holder.
KINDER: Well, Arthel, he is sounding the right notes today, this afternoon. I just wish he had been more judicious and more measured in his comments, ...in his pronouncements since the ninth of August. Because Mr. Holder came in and seemed on many occasions to be inciting the mob. He seemed to be putting his weight on the one side of the scales of justice and not backing up law enforcement. And if he is now in a backing-up-law-enforcement mode, then I will be among those cheering him. And I hope that’s the way he is from now on.
But wait, there’s more. Neville asked if Kinder had spoken to Holder directly.
KINDER: No, no, no, he doesn’t deign to speak to people like me. He comes into town and meets with one side. He met with the family of Michael Brown and it’s fine that he met with them but, Arthel, he did not meet with the family of Officer Darren Wilson or with his brother and sister officers to say, “I’m backing you up.”
It would have been entirely improper for the Attorney General to tell a police officer who had just shot and killed an unarmed teen – while the incident was under investigation – “I’m backing you up.”
But Neville didn’t point that out. Instead, she told Kinder, “Those are poignant words you’re making there, sir.” Then she closed the interview.
Watch it below, from today’s America’s News HQ.