BY BRETT SAMUELS – on Monday compared police officers using excessive force inappropriately to a golfer missing a short putt, saying sometimes “they choke.”
Trump, in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, argued that police are in a difficult position because they are forced to make snap decisions, often when their life may be in jeopardy. But his golf analogy prompted Ingraham to interject.
“They choke. Just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot putt,” Trump said.
“I’m saying people choke. People choke. And people are bad people. You have both. You have some bad people, and they choke,” Trump added. “You could be a police officer for 15 years and all of a sudden you’re confronted. You’ve got a quarter of a second to make a decision. If you don’t make the decision, and you’re wrong, you’re dead. People choke under those circumstances, and they make a bad decision.”
The president’s comments came in the context of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., last week. An officer shot Blake seven times in the back. Police have since said they attempted to subdue Blake with a taser and that they found a knife in his car, but the shooting has spurred outrage during a summer of multiple police killings of Black people.
“I mean, couldn’t you have done something different?” Trump said. “Couldn’t you have wrestled him? … In the meantime he might’ve been going for a weapon. You know, it’s a whole big thing there.”
The president is scheduled to visit Kenosha on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement and tour property damage caused by unrest there in the wake of the Blake shooting.
Trump has condemned the killing of George Floyd and expressed discomfort with the shootings of Rayshard Brooks and Blake, but he has generally been a staunch advocate of law enforcement, making it a central piece of his campaign.