On Hannity Wednesday, Wicomico County, MD Sheriff Mike Lewis (R) described Baltimore police officers as having been "eviscerated" and "disemboweled" by authorities, which he said has led to their unwillingness to be "proactive" in the face of the surge of violence in the city.
While CNN's Don Lemon accuses Baltimore officers of "turning their backs" on the "citizens they're sworn to protect," Sheriff Lewis laid the blame on the lack of support from higher-ups and urban leaders, which he said is creating an atmosphere of "fear" among law enforcement. Lewis told Sean Hannity that he hoped the situation—which he called the "worst" he's seen in his 31 years in law enforcement—would be a "shot across the bow of mayors and urban leaders":
LEWIS: Sean, the Baltimore City Police Department, the officers particularly on the street, have been eviscerated, they’ve been disemboweled, their guts removed to have the courage to go out there and do this job. They’re very fearful that if they go out there and be proactive, which we all should be doing in law enforcement today, we can’t afford to be reactive, especially in urban areas. Those officers are no longer being proactive, and as you see, the violence has surged. … And I hope this is a shot fired across the bow of mayors and urban leaders across this country. Once you disembowel your law enforcement officers, then you cannot no longer expect them to go out there and protect you, or protect your communities. This is very troubling the worst I’ve ever seen in 31 years of law enforcement.
When Hannity asked if this reluctance to do their jobs due to fear of backlash from authorities and the public is "spreading across the country," Sheriff Lewis said that it was a "very accurate reflection" of what he's hearing "all the time," adding police officers are "fearful of doing their jobs." Lewis also pointed to President Obama's response to some of the more controversial law enforcement cases, saying that while the president was "very quick" to weigh in on the Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner cases, "but he's not used any of his presidential influence or power" to stop the violence in urban areas like Baltimore and Chicago.
Lewis is not the only sheriff to level such criticism at officials. Milwaukee County Sheriff Clarke, a vocal defender of law enforcement, made a similar statement to Hannity Tuesday, saying the Obama administration's "transformation" of the policing has led to "unnecessary black carnage":
CLARKE: Welcome to President Obama's 21st century transformation of the institution of policing. It's been a disaster. Unnecessary black carnage is what we saw this weekend.
Partial transcript, video via Breitbart.