Media

They ‘Put Targets On Our Backs’: Houston Police Union President Takes Aim At ‘Talking Heads’ In Media

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor

Houston Police Union President Joe Gamaldi took media to task on Wednesday, saying that “talking heads” were partly responsible for the anti-police sentiment that seems to be growing.

WATCH:

During his Wednesday morning appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Gamaldi doubled down on recent comments calling out those who would drive a wedge between police officers and the communities they serve.

“I’m talking to the talking heads on some of these mainstream media outlets,” he explained. “I’m talking to the activists who have severely … just made our officers the enemy. They have put targets on our backs. The statistics show it. We have seen 50-percent increase from 2013 to 2016 in officers being killed by gunfire.”

Gamaldi traced the root of the problem back to Ferguson, Missouri, and the 2014 shooting involving Michael Brown and police officer Darren Wilson — and the false narrative that quickly grew out of that situation, sparking months of protests and unrest. (RELATED: Four Years After Ferguson, Missouri Primary Brings A New Referendum On The Case That Never Was)

He continued:

What was that seminal moment that changed it all? Well, 2014, when we had “hands up, don’t shoot” in Ferguson. Which, by the way, was a completely false narrative. And they continue to beat the drum on that. And you know what? It was a complete farce. Don’t take my word for it. Go ahead and look at the report that Eric Holder and the Obama administration released from their Justice Department that said it was a complete myth. But in the meantime, we have been cast as the bad guys.

Gamaldi went on to say that he believed there is an agenda behind the narrative — namely, to reduce police legitimacy and “drive a wedge” between the communities and the officers who serve them. (RELATED: Police Suicides Are Up: Retired Cop Says ‘Ferguson Effect’ Is Partly To Blame)

He then issued a call to arms to other officers and leadership within the police unions across the country, saying:

I’m asking every single police union leader across the country speak up when people start these harmful narratives. Make sure would hold them accountable. It’s funny because everybody wants to increase accountability on police officers, which is a good thing and we welcome it. Yet, when I say accountability to talking heads in the media or activists suddenly it’s a four-letter word and nobody wants to use it.

Gamaldi initially made headlines with the comments he made following the shooting — which left five of his officers wounded in Houston on Monday.

“We are sick and tired of having targets on our back … when all we are trying to do is protect this community and protect our families. Enough is enough. If you are the ones throughout spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, just know we’ve all got your number now. We will be keeping track of all of y’all, and we will make sure we hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers.”

RELATED: POLICE HIT BACK AGAINST HATRED

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