Who attacked police and believed he was acting on behalf of President Obama?
Your talking points, explained.
Spoiler alert: You're spewing racist garbage!
But it was the police-involved deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner on Staten Island in 2014 that kicked the Obama-hates-cops sentiment into overdrive. Brown's death prompted Obama to release a statement offering his condolences to the family and calling for calm. The failure of grand juries to indict the officers involved in either man's death gave rise to the politically contentious Black Lives Matter movement -- which itself was blamed for the murders of two police officers in a patrol car in New York that December.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani traced those officers' deaths back to the president. "We've had four months of propaganda, starting with the president," he said on "Fox News Sunday" that month, "that everybody should hate the police." Our Fact Checker gave that assertion four Pinocchios, meaning it lacked any truth. That verdict was supported by a look at what Obama had actually said, and found no evidence that he'd said anything of the sort. (That article also includes a comment from Joe Walsh, arguing that Obama was to blame.)
Ever since, as tension between the community and the police has persisted, so have charges that Obama is hostile to the latter. In October 2015, for example, Obama was criticized for supporting changes to police practices and for meeting with members of the Black Lives Matter movement who "appear to hate all cops," a New York Post report said at the time.
It's impossible not to note that each of these incidents centers in some way on race: Gates, rap music, Black Lives Matter. That Obama has been receptive to the concerns of protesters is clearly amplified by how Obama is himself black and that he has framed some of what police departments need to improve upon in explicitly racial terms. Some small part of the interest in siding with the police in opposition to Obama -- if one chooses to look at the two in opposition -- is probably motivated by race-based assumptions. More broadly, though, it's Obama's focus on problems in police work that happen to deal with race, which are blended into a sense that he opposes law enforcement broadly.