CNN political commentator Angela Rye issued a soul-stirring response to legal analyst Ken Cuccinelli’s defense of the White House’s flawed response to the deadly police shooting of Sacramento man Stephon Clark, 22.
During a Sunday appearance on CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, Cuccinelli echoed the Trump administration’s recent argument that police shootings are “local matters” meant to be handled by local law enforcement agencies rather than the federal government.
“To sound that dismissive from the podium wasn’t smart,” Cuccinelli said of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders’ halfhearted reaction to Clark’s shooting death. “It wasn’t wise, and it wasn’t very compassionate. But … BUT! As a practical matter, the responsibility for dealing with police departments and any bad actions by police is overwhelmingly [handled by] local and state.”
Rye chimed in with a few thoughts of her own, comparing the Trump administration’s tepid response to police shootings across the country to efforts made by former President Barack Obama to help put a stop to the deadly incidents. She brought up Obama’s Executive Order 13-6-84, which created a task force to assess 21st century policing in communities affected by deadly police violence.
“I see that Barack Obama and his administration had a far more effective response to decades and centuries of police violence,” Rye said. ” … There was a federal response. There was a Department of Justice, not a department of injustice, that looked into every single one of these brutal deaths that were suffered at the hands of police.”
To drive home her point, Rye proceeded to list the names of the countless Black men and women killed by police in recent years.
“In Illinois we have Laquan McDonald and Rekia Boyd,” she said. “In Texas, we had Sandra Bland. In Ohio, we had 12-year-old Tamir Rice and John Crawford … In Maryland, we had Freddie Gray. In California, we had Ezell Ford and most recently Stephon Clark. And in my home state of Washington, Charleena Lyles.”
“And that is just a sampling of how this is not a local issue — it is a national disaster,” Rye argued. “It is a national problem.”
Cuccinelli proceeded to pull the race card, arguing that Black officers are guilty of police brutality too. He pointed out that only one of the cops involved in Clark’s deadly shooting was white while the other was African-American.
“Who brought up race?” Rye interjected. “Not once in my comments about Barack Obama establishing an executive order and a task force to look into police violence have I brought up the race of officers.”
“Here’s the challenge that we have with systemic oppression and systemic racism,” she added. “It doesn’t matter who the immediate actor is. It’s about how they’re trained to perceive Black people. That is the problem!”
Watch more of the discussion above.