When three police officers were shot and killed in Baton Rouge last July, there was understandable national outrage — but there was increased fervor from many conservatives, led by Trump, who demanded “law and order,” immediately blamed President Barack Obama and pointed to the Black Lives Matter movement. The “cop killer” in this incident was a Black man.
Meanwhile, following the coldblooded killing of two police officers in Iowa this week in what investigators have called an “ambush-style” attack by a white, Confederate flag-waving man with a Trump-Pence sign on his front lawn, the outrage by Trump and his surrogates and supporters has been considerably more subdued.
After the Baton Rouge shootings, Rush Limbaugh on his radio show said BLM was “quickly becoming a terrorist group committing hate crimes.” Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and staunch Trump mouthpiece said on CBS: “[Black people] sing rap songs about killing police officers and they talk about killing police officers, and they yell it out at their rallies and the police officers hear it.”
This week, Trump tweeted that he was praying for the families of those killed in Iowa and offered words of support for police. Giuliani, who was stumping for Trump in Iowa hours after the shooting, said, “I’m not going to politicize this, but let me give a politicized take on a previous police killing. Just, you know, coincidentally.” He added, “This is not an isolated incident. This is happening all over the country.”
Both made their comments before the shooter’s identity was known. After the world learned the man was 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene, a white man with a history of carrying around the Confederate flag and harassing African Americans, Trump, Giuliani and others have remained deafeningly silent.
According to police, the two officers, Urbandale Officer Justin Martin and Des Moines Police Sgt. Anthony Beminio, were shot and killed in their patrol cars, taken by surprise with no opportunity to defend themselves.
It appears Greene was mad at police for not arresting Black teens who did not stand for the national anthem during a high school football game and kicking Greene out instead for waving a Confederate flag — violating school policy.
Greene video recorded his confrontation with police two weeks prior to the shootings, when police escorted him out of the Urbandale High School football game after he waved a Confederate flag in front of several Black people during the national anthem. He later wrote online that he “was offended by the blacks sitting through our anthem. Thousands more whites fought and died for their freedom. However this is not about the Armed forces, they are cop haters.”
During the video, Greene can be heard talking with police and a school representative who told him he must leave.
“The flag you are holding is actually in violation of school code,” the school representative said.
Greene insisted it was his “constitutional right” to wave the flag.
One of the police officers then said, “You came just to fly the flag and possibly cause a disruption tonight. You have got to understand in the current social climate that we’re in, when you fly a Confederate flag in front of several African American people, that is going to cause a disturbance.”
Greene again insisted, “It is my constitutional right,” to which the officer added, “That is going to cause a disturbance whether you intend to or not, whether it is your right or not.”
Greene also posted a 10-second still image on his YouTube page showing himself waving the Confederate flag in front of Black spectators at the game.
Two years ago, Greene was accused of approaching a man in a parking lot, shining a flashlight in his eyes and calling him the N-word, before threatening to kill him. “I will kill you, (expletive) kill you,” Greene reportedly said. He was charged with first-degree harassment but pleaded guilty to a lesser harassment charge and was sentenced to one year of probation.
When Greene finally turned himself in this week for killing the police officers, he was apprehended without violence. Police did not shoot him, and he was treated respectfully, not unlike the way Dylann Roof (also a Confederate flag-waving white supremacist) was apprehended following his murderous rampage at the South Carolina church last year.