Chris Christie Defends Cops: 'Not Right' to Generalize Race Problem
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pushed back against the idea that police officers had a problem with race when executing their duties as law enforcement officials.
During a visit to Asbury Park, Christie was asked about the uproar in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting death of an African-American teenager by a police officer.
“Do you think there’s a problem just in general in this country with the way police handle and treat young black men and black teenagers?” asked New Jersey reporter Matt Katz.
“Listen, I think it’s very dangerous to make generalizations about anybody like that, Matt,” Christie replied. “We have millions of dedicated men and women who are police officers across this country who work in grave danger every day to try to make sure that they protect innocent people across this country.”
Christie’s comment was met by cheers and applause from tourists and New Jersey residents watching the interview on the boardwalk.
Christie also expressed his faith in the rule of law and the justice system to properly handle the situation in Ferguson.
“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,” he said.
Sen. Rand Paul surprised political observers when he acknowledged that African-American citizens rightfully feel targeted by law enforcement.
"Given the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, it is impossible for African-Americans not to feel like their government is particularly targeting them," Paul wrote in a TIME op-ed.
However, Christie refused to criticize police officers as violence in the Ferguson community increased.
“I'm not going to get into this business of generalizing against law enforcement officers,” Christie said. “It's not right.”