California Gov. Jerry Brown, not known for his reticence on many issues, has declined to say much about the ongoing protests against the non-indictments of police officers in several high-profile cases in which police have shot unarmed black suspects. In one of those cases, two LAPD officers shot and killed Ezell Ford, who police say was reaching for an officer’s weapon. (Local officials promise to release an autopsy by the end of the year.)
At a climate change conference in Oakland Monday, Brown refused to answer questions from reporters about the ongoing protests. “I’m here to talk about climate change,” he said, in video posted by the Sacramento Bee.
On Monday morning, demonstrators chained themselves to the Oakland Police Department headquarters and blocked the entrances. Police removed them and made seven arrests. Brown is the former mayor of Oakland.
The Oakland conference was sponsored by billionaire Tom Steyer, who has donated heavily to Democrats. At Steyer’s behest, Democrats held an all-night session on climate change in the U.S. senate earlier this year. A vote last month to approve the Keystone XL pipeline failed to pass cloture by one vote, dooming the Senate career of outgoing Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu–but satisfying Steyer’s activism on the climate issue.
Democrats have largely embraced the police brutality protests and their message, despite some violence among the demonstrations nationwide. Republicans, however, have tended to be more skeptical or critical.
Brown has hewn to a more moderate political line than many other Democrats in recent months, which is one reason analysis suspect he may be gearing up for a presidential run as Hillary Clinton falters, despite denials.
Image: AP via Twitter
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak