WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Actor James Woods went on a Twitter tirade against Rev. Al Sharpton, President Barack Obama, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and even Hillary Clinton following the shooting deaths of two New York officers on Saturday.
Woods called Sharpton a “race pimp” after 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley ambushed and fatally shot New York Police Department Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn.
“’I’m putting wings on pigs today’ – Cop assassin Ismaaiyl Brinsley. Is Race Pimp Sharpton eating caviar this morning?” Woods tweeted.
In a tweet he deleted, Woods put the blame of the officers’ deaths squarely on Sharpton.
“This disgusting pig is DIRECTLY responsible for the murder of two good policemen. No discussion,” James tweeted, according to The Daily Caller.
In other tweets he showed Obama and Sharpton smiling together with the words “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” and called for de Blasio to resign.
Woods also said that former Secretary of State Clinton is being quiet about the murders of the officers.
“Hillary Clinton lamented bitch slapping 911 terrorists as ‘torture,’ but is mum on the murders of NYPD officers. No surprise there,” the actor posted.
Woods later added that he “never felt more certain that the Second Amendment is a necessity to protect the Bill of Rights from tyranny.”
Investigators are trying to determine if Brinsley had taken part in any protests over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, whose names he invoked in his online threat, or simply latched onto the cause for the final act in a violent rampage.
The killings come at a tense time as police nationwide are being criticized following Garner’s death in a New York officer’s chokehold and Brown’s fatal shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. Protests erupted in recent weeks after grand juries declined to charge the officers involved. On Monday, a prosecutor said a white Milwaukee police officer who was fired after he fatally shot a mentally ill black man in April won’t face criminal charges.
In the wake of the officers’ shootings, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged on Monday people on both sides to tone down their rhetoric, calling in a WNYC-AM radio interview for “rational, sober conversation” later to consider reforms.
A union-generated message at the 35,000-officer NYPD warned officers that they should respond to every radio call with two cars — “no matter what the opinion of the patrol supervisor” — and not make arrests “unless absolutely necessary.” The president of the detectives’ union told members in a letter to work in threes when out on the street, wear bulletproof vests and keep aware of their surroundings.
At a news conference in New York on Sunday, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce detailed Brinsley’s long criminal record, hatred for police and the government and apparent history of mental instability that included an attempt to hang himself a year ago.
Brinsley had at least 19 arrests in Georgia and Ohio, spent two years in prison for gun possession and had a troubled childhood so violent that his mother was afraid of him, police said. He ranted online about authority figures and expressed “self-despair and anger at himself and where his life was,” Boyce said.
Hours before shooting the officers, Brinsley had shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend, Shaneka Thompson, at her home in Baltimore.
“He shot me! I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die,” Thompson screamed, according to neighbor Yevette Seay. She told The Associated Press she called 911 as Thompson lay on the floor, clutching her stomach. Authorities have said Thompson is expected to survive.
After leaving Baltimore, authorities said, Brinsley took a bus north to New York City and used Thompson’s phone to write on Instagram: “They take 1 of ours, let’s take 2 of theirs.” He ended the post with references to the Brown and Garner cases.
Once in New York and shortly before he opened fire on the officers, Brinsley walked up to people on the street and asked them to follow him on Instagram, then told them, “Watch what I’m going to do,” Boyce said. Then Brinsley approached the squad car and fired four shots, killing the policemen. He ran into the subway station and committed suicide.
The shootings also deepened acrimony between rank-and-file police and de Blasio. Their union president recently suggested officers sign a petition telling the mayor not to attend their funerals if they died on duty, and some officers turned their backs on de Blasio Saturday as he walked through the hospital where Liu and Ramos had been taken.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said Monday on NBC’s “Today” show that he didn’t consider that gesture appropriate, “but it’s reflective of the anger of some” police officers. The mayor has lost some officers’ confidence, Bratton said, but he suggested that recent pension changes and ongoing contract negotiations also had contributed to the uneasy atmosphere.
One of Ramos’ relatives said the family would welcome a visit from the mayor, who visited both officers’ families at the hospital Saturday but did not see them Sunday.
“If he wants to come and show support, by all means, we’ll accept that,” said Ramos’ cousin Ronnie Gonzalez.
Ramos’ 13-year-old son, Jaden, said in a Facebook post that Saturday was the worst day of his life.
“Today I had to say bye to my father,” Jaden wrote. “He was the best father I could ask for. It’s horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help.”
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