Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick directly blamed Black Lives Matter protesters for putting the lives of police officers in danger—actions he said contributed to Thursday night’s attack in Dallas that killed five officers.
“Too many in the general public who aren’t criminals but have a big mouth are creating situations like we saw last night,” an emotional Patrick said during an interview with Fox News on Friday. He later added, “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!”
“I do blame people on social media with their hatred toward police,” he said. While pointing out that last night’s Dallas protest was peaceful, Patrick said, “I do blame former Black Lives Matter protests.”
Patrick’s comments follow a starkly different public statement calling for unity that he issued overnight:
My statement on the #Dallas shootings. pic.twitter.com/pfwXdxZmbI
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) July 8, 2016
Patrick’s comments come at a time of heated rhetoric in the wake of the Dallas attack. Prominent critics of the Black Lives Matter movement have gone so far as to declare the country is at “war.”