OTR Interviews

De Blasio, Holder, Sharpton ... Pres. Obama: The possible root causes of recent anti-police sentiment dissected

An NY crowded chanted, 'We want dead cops' and they got it a week later as anti-law enforcement sentiment has been fever-pitch since Michael Brown, Eric Garner decisions

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 22, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Former Congressman Allen West joins us.

Good evening, sir. And I know that nobody wants to, quote, "blame anybody," but you have got to look at what the root cause of this, is to try to figure out how to stop it and to prevent it from happening again. Where did this anti-police sentiment? I mean, what's behind all of this?

ALLEN WEST, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: The most important thing to understand is leaders establish climate, an atmosphere in a unit or an organization or across the nation. And when you have people, such as the president, such as the attorney general, Eric Holder, and Mayor Bill de Blasio and look at some of the things that have been said and go back to the Gates incident, which the police in Cambridge "acted stupidly" -- those are the words of the president. Why do we believe police need retraining or reorganization and reforming? That is some of the words that come from Eric Holder. And then also Mayor de Blasio, who came in going after the Stop and Frisk program and saying that he feels for his son. He feels that his son is threatened by the police.

Those are the type of climates and atmosphere created. You remember after the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, it was within two hours that the president took to the stage to give his assessment. Where is the president now? He should be talking to these protesters and saying this will not be tolerated in the United States of America. We have a rule of law. We have to have respect and regard for our police officers. We have to honor our system and our due process.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, you mentioned the Gates thing, Professor Gates back at Harvard. That was six months into President Obama's first administration. And I know a lot of police officers are very unhappy with the president because he said, as you noted, said the police acted stupidly and added he didn't know all the facts, which suggests he took sides. If he hadn't said, "I don't know all the facts," we might have thought differently. Many police officers thought that he took sides. At that point, that sets the tone. When he has been speaking in terms of Ferguson and in terms of Eric Garner, he has said things to try to put a lid on the tension. But has he been unsuccessful and, I mean, is it growing?

WEST: Yeah, he has been completely unsuccessful. Ask Holder and Mayor de Blasio. Mayor de Blasio should have not allowed these protests to get out of hand as you have seen and attacks on police officers.

What you are really witnessing is individuals that are allowing their political ideology and their philosophy to shape their policies under their perception of what they believe social justice will be. No one has ever talked about the fateful decisions that Michael Brown made to attack a store owner, to rob a store, to it assault and attack a police officer. That's what we need to be having the discussion on. We need to be having the discussion about, if the police come up to arrest you, you should comply with the police. Mr. Garner did not do that. Fatefully, those two individuals lost their lives because they didn't have that respect and regard for police and for authority.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, the president supported Lebron James when he came out wearing something in support of Eric Garner, I think it was I can't breathe or something. Made a statement that he thought that was good that athletes spoke out. And you mentioned the president speaking. Should the president speak now and, if so, what should he say?

WEST: The president has to speak now. And I would hope that a lot of these entertainers -- we know the little video that Samuel L. Jackson put out, the T-shirts and hoodies that we see. The St. Louis Rams players that came out with the hands up, "Don't shoot" symbology, which we know is a false narrative. They need to stand up with the men and women of the thin blue line and let them know they are with them. They are every day guardians, every day warriors that protect us. The president needs to reassert that. The attorney general needs to reassert that, as the top law enforcement officer in the United States of America. And Mayor de Blasio needs to come back and retract some of those statements that he has made and stand with those police, or else they will continue to turn their backs on him.

VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, thank you, sir.

WEST: Thank you, Greta.