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Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: There’s A War On Cops And Media ‘Are Not In Police Officers’ Corner’

LM Otero
Associated Press
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, pictured during a debate at the KERA studios last year.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick tells Texas Standard why there’s a need to improve positive relations between police officers and the public.

There was an execution-style murder of a Houston deputy last week. Two days later: an off duty officer in Abilene was found dead at his home. It was ruled a homicide. The next day, a Chicago officer was killed responding to a distress call. On walls in Houston there is graffiti of two emoji; on one side, the head of a police officer. On the other, a gun pointed at it.

Police and officials from New York to Houston have linked the death of Houston Deputy, Darren Goforth, to the Black Lives Matter protest movement focused on how police use lethal force against African-American citizens.

The County Sheriff of Milwaukee calls these recent events a “war on police.” And the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, agrees. 

Patrick has issued a statement – and a longer Facebook post – calling these events a “morbid reality” for law enforcement officers. 

“These are troubling times,” he tells Texas Standard. “When you see that type of graffiti  – when you see and hear the verbal attacks on the internet, on 24-hour cable news, that are vicious verbal attacks followed up by murderous attacks on police – we are at a very troubled time in our country.”

Patrick says there needs to be more positive mentions of police officers in the news and blames some media outlets for pitting sides of the story against each other.

“Your type of interview has to stop,” Patrick says. “Quit focusing on the small percentage of those in law enforcement who have made a mistake or have broken the law themselves.”

Listen to the Texas Standard interview:

Rhonda is the newest member of the KUT News team, joining in late 2013 as producer for KUT's new daily news program, The Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.