In an interview with Fox News on Friday, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick criticized peaceful Dallas protesters for seeking police protection as gunfire erupted Thursday evening.
Patrick, no stranger to inflammatory comments, blamed Black Lives Matter activists for the shooting of 12 Dallas officers — five of whom died — and called protesters "hypocrites" for criticizing police and then expecting officers to protect them.
"I do blame people on social media ... for their hatred towards police," Patrick said, unprompted by anchor Harris Faulkner. "I do blame former Black Lives Matter protests. The one last night was peaceful, but others have not been."
Hundreds of people assembled in Dallas Thursday evening to protest the shooting deaths of two black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier this week. The group marched through the city's downtown streets, escorted by Dallas police, until gunfire dispersed the crowd just before 9 p.m.
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Patrick, who tweeted a somber statement Friday morning urging Texans to pray for the families of the fallen officers, displayed a markedly different tone on Fox News. He said he was "sick and tired" of people protesting police, which he believes puts officers' lives in danger.
"Too many people who aren't criminals, but have a big mouth, created situations like we had last night," Patrick said, his voice rising.
Patrick, who is from Houston, appeared distraught as he described watching bodies of the slain officers wheeled by him at a Dallas hospital Friday evening.
Patrick's often-acerbic remarks have found him a national spotlight for the second time in as many months. He drew criticism in June when, hours after 49 people were gunned down in a gay Orlando nightclub, he tweeted a Bible verse stating that men "reap what they sow."