President Barack Obama is once again being blasted by police officers from across the nation -- especially the more than 300,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police [FOP] -- who voiced their anger over comments made by the President about the Ferguson police shooting and its aftermath, according to a press statement from FOP officials on Thursday night.
The FOP's director of the Law Enforcement Legislative Advocacy Center, Jim Pasco, said in a statement that President Obama should not have criticized the police while he vacationed in his opulent Martha's Vineyard retreat
“To police officers, the incongruity of his evaluating police tactics from the comfort of Martha’s Vineyard in the horrible tragedy which occurred in Missouri and ensuing the events is unfortunate,” Pasco said on the FOP website as quoted by the New York Post.
"I think what he has to do as president and as a constitutional lawyer is remember that there is a process in the United States and the process is being followed, for good or for ill, by the police and by the county and by the city and by the prosecutors' office," Pasco added.
Obama, during an impromptu press briefing on Thursday, said there should be calm and took a shot at the police just hours after he was dancing and smiling during a birthday party for the wife of one of the "swells" he regards as a friend, say police officers.
“There is also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights,” Obama said, as he described 18-year-old Michael Brown's shooting by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who was later identified as Darren Wilson.
"I'll bet a month's pay that Obama -- if faced with what cops faced in Ferguson -- would fold like a cheap camera. You've heard of the Monday morning [football] quarterbacks? Obama is the Monday morning Commander in Chief," said former police detective and security manager Kiernan Flaherty. "He [behaves] as if he gets paid by the word."
Officer Wilson, who shot the 6'4" tall, 290 lbs. teen, is a member of the FOP which will provide and attorney to him and pay all of the legal expenses.
Pasco also recalled 2009, when on national television Obama criticized a Massachusetts police officer for arresting Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, when he was attempting to break into his own home. Obama said the officer had “acted stupidly.”
"That is one where the president spoke precipitously without all the facts," Pasco said, adding that the current situation "is a much larger and more tragic incident."
Meanwhile, members of the St. Louis County Police Department defended the use of tear gas to repel the bottle- and firebomb-throwing demonstrators. “In talking to these guys, it is scary,” a police spokesman said. “They hear gunshots going off, and they don’t know where they’re coming from.”