Christie on Ferguson: Not going to generalize ‘against law enforcement officers’
August 18th, 2014
01:30 PM ET
4 months ago

Christie on Ferguson: Not going to generalize ‘against law enforcement officers’

(CNN) – Asked if there was a general problem in the United States with the way police deal with young African-American men, Gov. Chris Christie argued people shouldn’t be quick “to make generalizations.”

“Whatever happened in Ferguson, we have a justice system in this country that will be able to make that judgment, and if there are people who need to be held accountable, I'm confident they will be,” the New Jersey Republican said in a response to a question by WNYC’s Matt Katz.

“But I'm not going to get into this business of generalizing against law enforcement officers. It's not right,” he continued.

His comments Friday came one day after Sen. Rand Paul, another potential presidential candidate, said the police response to the racially-charged street protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer was an example of how law enforcement has become too militarized.

In an opinion piece for Time, the Kentucky Republican wrote that there “should be a difference between a police response and a military response."

While Paul labeled racial tension a crucial element to the recent unrest, Christie, a former U.S. attorney, did not go that far.

“I think it's very dangerous to make generalizations about anybody like that,” Christie said, referring to the reporter’s question about the relationship between police and African Americans. The governor made his comments in a press conference in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

“We have millions of dedicated men and women who are police officers across this country, who work in grave danger every day, who try to make sure they protect innocent people across the country,” he continued. “So I'm not going to get into this game of generalizing and characterizing people in that way. Everyone should be judged on their merits.”


Filed under: 2016 • Chris Christie • Missouri • Rand Paul
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    You mean Governor Bluster is keeping his yap shut for a change?

    August 18, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. it must be said

    A smart, intelligent response from a smart, capable person. I sure wish we had somebody this smart in the White House and as Governor of Missouri. This is why the Democrats are so afraid of Christie running, he's not one that easily baited with these types of questions.

    August 18, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Mozambique Drill

    Christie's response has been one of the few rational statements that have been spoken since this entire episode began.

    August 18, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. rs

    Mr. Christie is of course correct. Crimes unrelated to the events at hand are being committed, and they must be stopped and order must be restored. Yes, trials must occur and justice meted out- even for the police involved in the initial shooting. A sub-current to all this that makes very little sense however is the notion that somehow our police are too-armed, or have too many weapons or are "militarized".
    Has anyone considered that since the NRA has flip-flopped on military grade hardware in our nation, and supports the "rights" of everyone to be armed to the teeth (including criminals, the insane and even the blind), that our LEOs have no choice? Our police and law enforcement as a whole cannot be outgunned by the public- to have it be otherwise is both insane- and likely a full-on assault to the public's order and safety.
    The implication is clear- the NRA and the 2nd Amendment are essentially unfunded mandates for which we all pay- and perhaps we need to consider that.

    August 18, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Yes to Hope and Change - Hillary 2016

    America is a country of laws.

    Since when do criminals and thugs running wild in the streets of Missouri get to tell anyone what they will or will not do.

    Time to lock up everyone, fill the jails, with those who have chosen a life of crime.

    These are not peaceful demonstrators, these are out of control thugs.

    August 18, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. rs

    it must be said

    A smart, intelligent response from a smart, capable person. I sure wish we had somebody this smart in the White House and as Governor of Missouri. This is why the Democrats are so afraid of Christie running, he's not one that easily baited with these types of questions.
    __________________________
    I don't think the Democrats fear Christie based upon his intelligence (or much else), I think they see another President Nixon- wherein the obvious intelligence is balanced by graft and criminality- like withholding federal aid to flood victims based upon their political membership- or worse, that of their elected officials. That intelligence- and sensible leadership Christie otherwise displays is precisely why the lunatic GOP machine will not run him. In the end, they will nominate yet another fatally flawed candidate.

    August 18, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Dumbas[R]ocks

    it must be said that to some, having the chaotic regressiveness of jabba-the-hut's FAILURES would be much preferable to having the obvious SUCCESS of the progressive approach of Obama.

    But, let's give credit where credit is due.....after all -
    - it was Christie and the [R]s who got us out of Iraq, and kept us out of an endless quagmire of Syria
    - it was Christie and the [R]s who stopped the country's free-fall into economic depression
    - it was Christie and the [R]s whose given us constant job-growth since 2009
    - it was Christie and the [R]s who brought bin Laden to justice
    - it was Christie and the [R]s who had the political balls to bring this country a major step forward in health care

    ....OH WAIT!!....it must be said that I'm as terribly confused as an empty-headed [R]!!!

    August 18, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    “I think it's very dangerous to make generalizations about anybody like that,” Christie said, referring to the reporter’s question about the relationship between police and African Americans.
    -------------------------------------
    Some folks just don't feel comfortable discussing the negative state of race relations. The reasons can vary from guilt from harbored hatred to ignorance due to a sheltered lifestyle.

    When was the last time we heard about a black officer killing an unarmed white person? Have we ever heard of it?

    August 18, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Yes to Hope and Change – Hillary 2016

    America is a country of laws.

    Since when do criminals and thugs running wild in the streets of Missouri get to tell anyone what they will or will not do.
    ----------------------------
    Uh. Ever since a group of heavily armed patriots "defended" the Bundy ranch from tax collectors doing their jobs.

    August 18, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    Rand has you beat on this one Krispy Creme. Nice how you dodged that question. Kudos.

    August 18, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Yes to Hope and Change - Hillary 2016

    @rs

    Would you demonstrate in Chicago, Oakland, DC and every other urban city with high crime rates ? Especially, the black on black crimes and murders? Can you speak loud and proud on the cause of justice for those families who have lost loved ones?

    Or, do you support the domestic terrorist group black panthers, thug united front to undermine the law with their thug approach? Are you in favor of lawlessness? Would you rather give into the animalistic behavior of these thugs and let them continue to rule the streets and encourage violence?

    Which side are you on?

    The laws or the criminals? Easy question. Can't ride the fence post.

    August 18, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. ????

    @rs
    A sub-current to all this that makes very little sense however is the notion that somehow our police are too-armed, or have too many weapons or are "militarized".
    Has anyone considered that since the NRA has flip-flopped on military grade hardware in our nation, and supports the "rights" of everyone to be armed to the teeth (including criminals, the insane and even the blind), that our LEOs have no choice? Our police and law enforcement as a whole cannot be outgunned by the public- to have it be otherwise is both insane- and likely a full-on assault to the public's order and safety.
    The implication is clear- the NRA and the 2nd Amendment are essentially unfunded mandates for which we all pay- and perhaps we need to consider that.
    -------
    Do a Google search of the "North Hollywood Bank Robbery" in 1997. That was the catalyst for increasing the firepower that is issued to law enforcement personnel. Also notice that this incident occurred in a state with some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation (California).

    August 18, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. smith

    @Rudy-Your mistaken, CNN reported over the weekend that Johnson first denied being a part in the robbery then later admitted to police he was there with Brown.

    August 18, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "Or, do you support the domestic terrorist group black panthers, thug united front to undermine the law with their thug approach? Are you in favor of lawlessness? Would you rather give into the animalistic behavior of these thugs and let them continue to rule the streets and encourage violence?

    Which side are you on? The laws or the criminals? Easy question. Can't ride the fence post."
    -----------------------------–
    This type of mindset is why we keep seeing over and over incidents of white citizens killing unarmed black citizens.

    August 18, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Dumbas[R]ocks

    I agree, "Yes to hope and change", let's lock up every CEO who has broken our laws, cheated on their taxes, cheated their fellow businessmen out of money, cheated their employees out their pay and benefits, used and hired illegals.

    Get a dictionary, look up the word 'hypocrisy'. Do it soon. After all, "can't ride the fence post".

    August 18, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Mozambique Drill

    I see where Obama is returning from vacation to confer with Eric Holder regarding the events in Ferguson, Mo. Will their topics of conversation also include the list of young African-American males who died in black-on-black crime last weekend?

    August 18, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. just asking

    where are all of the apologies from the people in here last week saying the police shot brown in the back as he was running away? maybe everybody should just shut up until everything is investigated and all of the facts are determined before you start lynching cops in the street with misinformation.

    August 18, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. O'drama ya Mama

    it must be said

    A smart, intelligent response from a smart, capable person. I sure wish we had somebody this smart in the White House and as Governor of Missouri. This is why the Democrats are so afraid of Christie running, he's not one that easily baited with these types of questions.
    August 18, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    If anyone is afraid its Christie. There is a reason he refuses to comment on all the recent national issues.

    August 18, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Rudy-Your mistaken, CNN reported over the weekend that Johnson first denied being a part in the robbery then later admitted to police he was there with Brown.
    --------------------------------------
    Mistaken about what? You're mistaken about what I'm "mistaken" about.

    "Johnson" has not said a word to reporters for several days, not since he first told accounts of what he says that he had witnessed, which I was surprised his attorney allowed him to do.. His attorney has been making statements on his behalf ever since, which is BIG difference.

    His attorney has also told reporters that his client informed local and FBI investigators about the robbery "a few days ago", which was on Friday when the video was released. What's your point, smith? The police chief is already on record stating that the alleged robbery had nothing to do with the shooting incident. CNN reported that, too, or have you chosen to ignore it?

    BTW, I cooked out, watched Little League baseball, some guy shoot a 59, threw horseshoes, ran from the rain, ate like a pig, watched old movies, and a whole bunch of other stuff that had nothing to with any of the stuff on this blog.

    August 18, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Christie can't be race baited. Guns Over People teatard radical extremists really can't have him around for 2016 now.

    August 18, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    just asking

    where are all of the apologies from the people in here last week saying the police shot brown in the back as he was running away? maybe everybody should just shut up until everything is investigated and all of the facts are determined before you start lynching cops in the street with misinformation.
    ------------------------
    I said it, and I have no shame in admitting it because being shot in the top of the head is even worse.

    If all of this shooting took place at, or very near to, the window of the police vehicle, then where is the blood stained car? The police chief did not indicate or suggest that the officer ever got out of his vehicle during the shooting. It was all about a struggle for the gun, a struggle that took place inside of the vehicle.

    Remember, eyewitnesses say the officer got out of his car and fired at the fleeing Brown. Maybe he was hit in his leg, instead of his back? Who knows? What's most important is that witness accounts fit the facts MUCH better than the police accounts of what happened.

    August 18, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    But he'll be glad to attend the next big Teatroll fund raiser and generalize about minorities, the poor, "thugs," the inner city, public employees, etc.

    August 18, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "do you support the domestic terrorist group black panthers"

    LOL! Straight out of the Faux bubble....and they're doing it to try to re-invigorate and tap into the lingering the RWNJ Teatroll poutrage over the 2008 incident with a couple black panthers standing in front of a polling center. The math is simple:

    White fright race resentment = conservative "enthusiasm" during a election year.

    August 18, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. Redme

    Either way dont think for one darn minute that the government dont have some eyes embedded within the protesters . And more arrest will be coming for the looting .

    August 18, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "where are all of the apologies from the people in here last week saying the police shot brown in the back as he was running away? maybe everybody should just shut up until everything is investigated and all of the facts are determined before you start lynching cops in the street with misinformation."

    While I didn't make that claim, it's still perfectly defensible in light of witness accounts that he fired while the kid's back was turned. Just because he didn't get his aim right until the 6 bullets that hit Brown when he turned around with his hands up, 2 of which hit him in the head, then that hardly makes it any better. One of them even entered from the top of his head, no doubt when he bent over or started to fall from being hit with other bullets.

    August 18, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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