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Obama Skips Police Week, Hosts Controversial Rapper

May 15, 2011  | 

President Obama skipped the events of National Police Week in D.C. this week, instead hosting a controversial rapper at the White House who has praised a convicted cop killer.

On Wednesday, the White House hosted a poetry night with a performance from Common, author of the work, "A song for Assata," in dedication to Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur, who was convicted for the 1973 slaying of New Jersey Trooper Werner Foerster.

Earlier in the week, Fraternal Order of Police National President Chuck Canterbury sent a letter expressing his "profound disappointment" with the invitation and followed it up with a phone call reminding President Obama's staff that National Police Week is "a time to honor law-enforcement officers for their service and sacrifice."

Obama did not attend the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund's candlelight vigil Friday evening. He also skipped the Peace Officer's Memorial Service on Sunday on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. President George W. Bush attended the Peace Officer's Memorial every year except one.

President Obama spoke at the National Peace Officer's Memorial in 2010.

By Paul Clinton

Source: Washington Times


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Police Week 2011: Candlelight Vigil (photos)

Police Week 2011: What They Left Behind (photos)

Comments (64)

Displaying 1 - 64 of 64

Disgusted @ 5/15/2011 2:15 PM

Well at least we know where we stand with our President. Maybe next year he can host a school shooter and the next a suicide bomber. What a stupid thing to do during police week of all times.

Mary Davis @ 5/15/2011 2:31 PM

I am a firm supporter of President Obama. To spin this story in an unfavorable light without all the facts is inflammatory and irresponsible of this publication. I believe we need to be less divisive as a nation if we are to move forward. Very disappointing.

MCSO 5159 @ 5/15/2011 2:39 PM

Obama is the biggest disgrace to the office of the President of the United States. His decision to honor a person who openly supports those that killed a Peace Officer versus openly honoring each and every Peace Officer in the United States is UNEXCUSABLE. We take an oath to uphold the Laws of our country and fully understand that in doing so we may pay the ultimate price yet we suit up everyday and hit the streets. Obama should have never been elected based on the fact he does not meet the requirements to hold the position as stated in our Constitution. Even with this information known to everyone in our country there seems to be no person who will stand up for what is right and demand his immediate resignation. Our once great country is in dire threat of losing our status as the Greatest Country in the Free World. God Help Us All..

Lt. Dave @ 5/15/2011 2:45 PM

what else is new? He skipped it the first year as president because he was welcoming the Chicago Bulls to the White House. Also, GW Bush never missed any year as president, although Clinton did. I know because I was there. This is the first time I missed it after 16 years of being there.

AdAstra47 @ 5/15/2011 3:09 PM

This was one of the most biased and one-sided excuses for journalism I've ever seen.
Interesting that you mention Common's one controversial song, but never mention when George H W Bush invited Easy E to the White House. His lyrics make Common look like Vanilla Ice and he made a career out of glorifying rape, drugs and cop killing.
And Obama isn't "skipping" Police Week. He issued a press release declaring it a national holiday and ordering flags to be flown at half-mast.
Bush attended your party, so what? Any idiot can come say a few pretty words. Obama has actually accomplished things to really help law enforcement, like the VALOR program, like increasing deportation of criminals by 70%, like steadily increasing border patrol funding & manpower, and oh yeah, killing Osama bin Laden.

don barney @ 5/15/2011 3:19 PM

obama is a disgrace as president and was a disgrace as a politician. In light of still another disgracful action by obama you will still hear democrats praising him and say "can't we just all get along", but if it would have been president Bush you would have never heard the end of complaints. Democrats in my book are traitors to this country just like jane fonda and obama.

Tom @ 5/15/2011 3:39 PM

I have gotten to the point where I have to turn the channel when President Obama comes on the news. He is the only president in my memory that I would not care to meet, talk to, shake his hand etc.
He is a complete left wing clown.

Shane @ 5/15/2011 4:06 PM

What a rag!!! He can't be at every thing, every year, just because a group wants him to. His JOB isn't to be at every freakin meeting, convention, and honorarium coming and going. His job is to keep this country going, to try to find common ground between two competing houses of congress, and to protect our nation (does anyone know HE and HE ALONE made the decision on how to kill Osama bin Laden???). And in all honesty, if I were him, I wouldn't do anything for law enforcement. You people always jump into the political foray (in favor of the Republicans) but then cry and whine that the president doesn't support law enforcement no matter who the president is. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either you're looking out for your members best interests (in a non-partisan way, that's how you get things done), or you're just another political group (which will never get anything when the party opposite of your opinion is in charge). So, turn the mirror around to yourselves and look really hard...and you'll see why this President really doesn't have much respect for you...I work in this field and I don't have much respect for you either.

CB @ 5/15/2011 4:54 PM

Good job "Police Magazine" in reporting this. No slant, no bias. It is, to the point, news that all people should know. Thank you.

Frank @ 5/15/2011 5:44 PM

Figures! I hope next year will be his last year. The guy who was going to do great things. He's a reality TV Prez. He even screwed up the Bin Laden show. You never let Top Secret mission information to the Press. His cabinet acted like High School kids. Remember when people complained about Tricky Dick. I now wish he was back! We all know how he feels about Law Enforcement and the US Military.

piepr @ 5/15/2011 5:48 PM

I agree it's very disappointing, to hear the Obama supporters with anti-law enforcement sentiments in favor of a "no show". And to take credit for things set in motion by Congress and previous administrations no less. And deportation increases ? That wasn't Obama, it simply was a way of relief for the overcroading in prisons.

I don't see anything amiss and we haven't heard why the "no show". You would figure that as Commander-in-Chief this would be one of the primary duties.

Last year he showed but left early to catch a Phillys game.

Chief Investigator @ 5/15/2011 6:56 PM

Just goes to show that a scum bag can buy his way into any political office. So much for protecting and upholding the Constitution. When he was in my area he told the Officers who were helping with security to stand behind the bus because he did not want to be seen with the Police.

MCSO 5159 @ 5/15/2011 7:13 PM

AdAstra47 and Shane, your comments clearly establish to those of us who have been there and done it, is that the only uniform you have ever worn in your lives was your High School Band Uniform.


Over the years the easiest way I have learned to explain to a person why we are special and as such deserve good benefits including an enhanced retirement system is the following analogy; When bad things happen and people call 911 for help as they are running away from the problem, they pass us running towards the problem. Regardless of how bad the problem, you can run from it while we have to confront it and mitigate it. The types of problems we will be facing in the next few years will be like none of those we have ever seen. It is our own Government that is becoming the enemy of the people and in turn are a direct threat to our Constitution and our Country. It has got to the point it does not matter whether our elected representatives have a "R or a D" in front of their name, they are all equally corrupt. The change we need to save our Nation is going to be a very difficult challenge, one I hope we can accomplish before it is too late. As I stated before "God Help Us"..

Tom @ 5/15/2011 7:30 PM

Unlike the Cambridge officer it appears that the president in this case acted "stupidly".

Call sign "8Sam1" @ 5/15/2011 8:31 PM

Thanks alot Mr. President, yeah right!!

Michael @ 5/15/2011 8:38 PM

What a disgrace President Obama is to this county. Not only by not attending this ceremony but to host a party of this nature. We need to get the White House back to a real dedicated American who respects our ways and the Presidency. A complete embarrassment to our LEO and their families who paid the ultimate price. FU Mr. President.

dana @ 5/15/2011 8:51 PM

what a disgrace to our officers & our country. obama should hang his head in shame. and get it right people, obama did not kill bin laden. our brave troops did. the same troops obama did not want to pay if there was a government shutdown. bet he would still take his salary tho. what a joke.

GGM @ 5/15/2011 9:31 PM

Very dissapointing and biased article, Is there anyone who will take a minute and actually listen to or read the questionable lyric?? The rapper was merely questioning the guilt or innocent of the convicted person, not encouraging violence against anyone. What is really sad is that right wingers are no different than the left when it comes to hateful irrational statements whenever the opposing party is in office. the right is just as hateful towards Obama as the left was to George W Bush. Maybe we should listen to Ronald Regan's quote "THERE SHOULD BE NO POLITICAL ENEMIES IN OUR COUNTRY, ONLY OPPONENTS" (we are on the same team, with different methods of accomplishing the same goals

Kickinit @ 5/15/2011 10:29 PM

Okay, let me review this: Bush missed one, Obama missed one but attented last year. Bush lied about Iraq, which started the longest war in our history, cost 5000+ American lives, a trillion dollars and shut down the ObL unit. Two months into office and Obama reopens the ObL unit, two years after which he successfully orders the elimination of the most wanted terrorist in our time, . . . . and Obama is the worst president ever? Dude, put the pipe down, back away slowly and pull your head out of your . . .

Laura @ 5/15/2011 11:42 PM

Mary Davis, How else would you "spin" it? The facts are he wasn't at the service and the White House hosted an event showcasing a man who sang about killing cops!

David Dean @ 5/15/2011 11:52 PM

Let's see it would appear that many are surprised by the snub of President Obama this National Police Memorial weekend. Let us remind ourselves that this is the very same President who called law enforcement names when an officer in the Northeast arrested a person because he did not identify himself or cooperate with an officer called to a "break-in." President Obama defended the actions of the uncooperative person and denigrated the officer for doing his job and some now find it unusual or out of character that he would not attend the memorial, but rather find the "company" of rapper more to his liking. Wake up, he does not care for law enforcement and he has demonstrably shown it by his words and deeds both recently and his past history. For those who chose to vote for him, you got exactly what you voted for. For those who want someone different and better; the next chance for "change" happens in November 2012. If by chance you did not vote or do not plan to vote in this upcoming election, just be quiet and enjoy the ride because if you don't participate you are merely a spectator.

Tim @ 5/16/2011 4:16 AM

" The Cambridge Police acted stupidly..." Remember? Never forget that a Liberal is just a person who has not been a victim of violent crime... Oh yeah, Barack Obama did not kill Osama Binladen. Seal Team Six did.

It amazes me so many of us freely give our lives serving our communities and we are so often forgotten. Remember after Sept. 11? For a while, just a little while, some people actually liked us. Of course, it's easy to hate us...You know, when budget time rolls around or when someone needs a scapegoat.


M. Fishbein @ 5/16/2011 5:36 AM

This President does not what his priority should be.

Not Surprised @ 5/16/2011 5:56 AM

From the man who said the "Cambridge police acted stupidly" without having all the facts, this is hardly surprising. As a friend of Bill (Ayers, aka cop killer), this man has surrounded himself with these type of people. Any police officer who supports this guy should have his/her head examined.

Dave Greeley @ 5/16/2011 6:51 AM

Of course he didn't go. EEvery commenrt and action from this White House and it's Attorney General has shown all of their contempt for Law Enforcement in General and Police Officers in Particular.

Yet you wuill see no news media stating such nor will we hear any complaints of this adminisrtation's actions from democrats because he leads thier party.

Yet how many of us support him while he continues showing his contempt for us.

KimG @ 5/16/2011 6:51 AM

@Mary Davis... How's that change working for YOU???

Survivor @ 5/16/2011 7:18 AM

In regards to the comments- This was not a 'Party' it is a memorial service for the surviving family members of officers killed in the line of duty. The service is on May 15th because President Kennedy signed into law on October 1, 1962 that May 15th is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. President Clinton in 1994 amended it to include that all flags are to be flown at half-staff on May 15th.

President Obama DID NOT make it a National Holiday. It IS a National Holiday. His office issued a PRESS RELEASE. Big Deal.

I think the point is not so much WHO he hosted, but WHEN he hosted. The timing is a slap in the face to the families who have lost a family member in the line of duty. Since May 15th has been a National Holiday for 49 years it isn't as if The White House didn't know about this holiday.

Rich @ 5/16/2011 7:19 AM

The president has shown his dislike for law enforcement officers many times. Yes, in deference to his office an invitation should be extended. But when he doesn't show up, no one should be surprised, and in my opinion we should be relieved. Let those who truly care attend. To attend just because you are supposed to does a disservice to all who care.

Marty @ 5/16/2011 8:11 AM

This is a disgrace. Plain and simply put a disgrace. But what else did you expect from a libral socialist from Chicago?

Appalled @ 5/16/2011 8:14 AM

Obama has now twice shown his disrespect for police officers, despite his lying rhetoric. I would not expect to see ANY more photo ops with uniformed police standing behind him as he lies from the teleprompter. Any chief who does this for Obama now is a toady-coward unfit for his/her uniform. And if one does--and one probably will from the Left-wing New England area--then the troops should REFUSE to be a part of it. Sue your chief when you are disciplined for refusing to engage in a political show.

Tom @ 5/16/2011 8:41 AM

Do I have this correct? President Obama skips police week and hosts a rapper who glorifies one Assata Shakur? Is this the same Assata Shakur who was a member of the black panther party and black liberation army?
Is this the same lady who was involved in a shootout in 1973 on the New Jersey turnpike at which time Trooper Foerster was slain? Is this the same Shakur who was captured, convicted and sent to prison but later escaped and fled to Cuba? If this the same lady who's guilt in the murder of the trooper is in doubt but she was found to have remnants of the trooper's brain matter on her shoe as a result of kicking him in the head after he was shot and down on the ground defenseless? No one should fault Assata Shakur or the rapper that glories her or President Obama for hosting the rapper but George Bush for invading Iraq?

Margaret Hood @ 5/16/2011 8:42 AM

We know who he is, and we know where he lives! And come 2012 there will be a vacancy sign in front of the White House and it be replaced by a man of courage, conviction, faith in God and have a genuine love in his heart for the United States Military and those who keep the law, protect and defend our Constitution, and will serves us with honor and the dignity that we deserve by turning out the worst regime ever in American history, and I'm talking of BIBLICAL PROPORTION. God bless America and restore the goodness of blessings because we ask Him to do so! *** USA USA USA***>>>

bill68 @ 5/16/2011 9:07 AM

Obama is a disgrace to this country. He didn't get bin laden the CIA did. Obama is no friend of law enforcement either. He is the worst president this country has ever had.

Bonita Cannon @ 5/16/2011 9:47 AM


Scotty @ 5/16/2011 10:57 AM

I am sorry but I do not see where the spin in this article is. It is factual and not inflamatory. Obama showed up in 2010. He id not how up in 2009 and blew off the event to give the Phillies an award for winning the World Series. He also attended and event that this performing artist "Common" who has supported convicted cop killers and expressed his displeasure of past and sitting presidents.

When someone says things like needing to be less divisive and inflamatory, it makes me fearful of people denying opposing opinions and free expression of ideas. We in no way have want to deny Mr. "Common's" right to express himself. We do however, disagree with his views. We also find it disapointing that our President would ignore the sacrafice of law enforcement professionals and invite him to the White House.

I am sorry. President Obama's actions do not sit well with me. It is my opinion, and I hope that I can continue to express it in the future.

BOB SCHURE @ 5/16/2011 12:45 PM



yobama is for yobama only and

the hell with everybody else.

Walter Briggs @ 5/16/2011 12:49 PM

Who is really surprised here???

Sergeant Friday @ 5/16/2011 12:50 PM

I believe most police unions supported him for president, so deal with hit.

Florida Native @ 5/16/2011 1:13 PM

He could care less about LEO's. And as for him killing Bin Ladin, I didn't know he was a Navy Seal! He wouldn't make a pimple on a Seals rear.

With LEOs dying at a fast pace, you'd think he could take a few minutes from his day and at least put in an appearance.

Didn't vote for him last time, wont vote for him this time.

A cop's wife @ 5/16/2011 1:22 PM

Real nice.... Are we surprised that his priorities are messed up? Nothing new.

LPD-Ret @ 5/16/2011 1:37 PM

In response to Sgt. Friday, I would suspect that most police unions or at least the majority of the rank and file will not vote for Obama again if they did so in 2008 when little was known about him. We know him now and he is a turkey.

RiverRat66 @ 5/16/2011 1:42 PM

AdAstra47: Any idiot can order a flag flown at half-staff and declare days as national holidays. Several idiots have done so with other events in the past. However, your icon did not kil OBL, our American MILITARY SpecOps personnel did. I don't listen to rap of any kind so I'm not qualified to comment on this Common fellow. Have you checked with Arizona's law enforcement officials who are SERIOUS about border security regarding what's coming across that so-called 'secure' border? Alligators in a moat? Was that really a mature and adult comment to make when people are getting killed by illegals in the border states?

Of course I'll probably have the racist "thing" thrown at me for this post. That's usually the quickest comeback people have when this president is attacked.

To the men and women of the Blue Line, THANK YOU for being there for us when we need you the most.

wmccarty @ 5/16/2011 1:54 PM

That's just fine with me. Wouldn't want him at the memorial services anyway. ACTIONS speak louder than words and his clearly speak volumes as to how he feels towards law enforcement. Stay away and don't insult the memory of those who have fallen and their families by turning your attending into a political photo op.

DR @ 5/16/2011 5:03 PM

Adding insult to injury, CNN did a segment on the White House invitation to Common, and to defend the rapper, they included blogger Tim Wise, who has a long history of attacking police (although CNN didn't give the viewers that information. )

Tim Wise called the Fraternal Order of Police the "official Police Brutality Protection Union" :

He mindlessly attacks police officers at every opportunity:, where he states that "Police don’t deserve hero treatment based on the risks they take."

He has stated that he "supports organized labor, but if there's one "union" that deserves to be destroyed -- I mean, utterly, completely broken and destroyed -- it's the police matter what their thug members do, they ALWAYS side with their members. Cop culture is the enemy, period.".!/timjwise?sk=wall

Of course, Tim Wise also likes to call Christians "Jeezoids"," so he's not just anti-cop, he's quite a bigot.

Carl @ 5/16/2011 6:51 PM

Why would we want Obama to attend ? Any law officer fraternizing with this guy would be corrupt anyway.

kcso41 @ 5/16/2011 7:36 PM

what a crock of crap! Old GW was there backing the police! Obama needs to go

Tina @ 5/16/2011 8:46 PM

Where are the stories of the Republican Governors cutting police, benefits. I believe it would be fair and just to look at what the lyrics are, and they are not about favoring killing police. Shame on you getting the police angry over a President that just ran the biggest risk Navy Seal Opperation. You have made this personal, and that is not your job, facts are. Just the facts.

Tina @ 5/16/2011 8:50 PM

Not objective, not justice, very petty.

David Rivers @ 5/17/2011 6:40 AM

To Mary; I'm sorry but it is what it is.
To Adastra 47. He did NOT declare it a National Holiday and order the flags at half mast. That was done in 1962 by then President Kennedy, Shane hope you never need a police officer; but if you do one will be there, yes even for you.

reallypohed @ 5/17/2011 7:59 AM

He didn't like Easter either. However he killed Osama Bin Laden, just aske him and he will tell he did, might have even pulled the trigger from a remote site.

jen @ 5/17/2011 10:39 AM

This pathetic excuse of a president has time to go on "The View" with a bunch of crazy women but he just so happened to not be able to attend police week? Pure disrespect. And to all you Obama lovers, there are no excuses. There are certains things as a president you MUST do, respecting the people that keep you alive everyday is one of them.

Carl Faria @ 5/17/2011 3:45 PM

I'm not surprised. It would take at least half hour out of his schedule. That's too much to give to the people who protect him.

CDRCRASH @ 5/17/2011 6:10 PM

One POS supporting another bigger POS. What's next a presidential pardon and a ticker tap parade down Pennsylvania Ave. then a cabinet position this queen POS should have been dealt with before she was broken out of Clinton Correction. She is still a MURDERER and an Escaped Convict

mark wills @ 5/17/2011 9:15 PM

Mary, I'm sorry but you are the one who overlooks the facts. This event (National Law Enforcement Memorial) is held every year during this week. And if President Obama and -Or any of his staff will choose to overlook the sacrifice made by these men and women who's names were placed on this wall is disgraceful. Plain and simple!

T Bloom @ 5/18/2011 11:47 AM

Ms Davis; I challenge you to present those facts that we are not seeing or are being presented. To post what you did without pointing those facts out is in the same light as you are accusing the writer of this story of. Either you have significant information that we should be hearing - or you are being a loud but meaningless gong. Which is it?

Mike Wikman @ 5/19/2011 4:39 AM

What do you expect from a president like the one we have now.He wasn't even born in our country and was put in office by the people of Walmart. He is a socialist, dislikes his country and is a progressive protected by our evil media. Again look at the people that put him in office. If I were you I wouldn't loose sleep over a looser like him

Tom @ 5/19/2011 8:30 AM

The news today is Obama wants more aid to go to the middle east so they can create jobs. I guess the oil rich countries like Saudi
Arabia can't or won't help so we will after borrowing the money from
China. It would not surprise me if Obama grants a pardon to Shakur and brings her back from Cuba where she fled after imprisonment for the killing of the trooper in Penn, and make her his next czar? Obama may think she would make a good liaison between the black militant community and the police. I believe Obama was actually born in this country as he alleges, but his real name is Alfred E Newman.

Tom @ 5/19/2011 8:52 AM

correction: Trooper was killed in New Jersey not Penn

phil baker @ 5/20/2011 11:16 PM


RICK @ 5/24/2011 2:29 AM


Flyinelvis @ 6/24/2011 8:44 PM

Yet Police Associations across the country will support this piece of trash for Re-election.

Lee @ 1/11/2012 4:30 PM

@Shane: The next time you need a LEO to help you, make sure you give him that speech first.

ROB ROY SELF @ 1/21/2012 2:03 PM

This is not a spin obama has shown nothing but contempt for Law Enforcement, the Law's of this country, and the Constitution. His action's don't suprise me at all. We'll be rid of him in a year and just be remembered as one huge mistake. I'am sure the next President will honer the sacrifices of the men and women of this country who have given all to keep it safe.

Rick @ 3/26/2012 12:24 AM

No slant, no bias, just the facts. President Obama chose not to attend. His pressing engagement that prevented him from attending a memorial service for 316 slain Police Officers in the line of duty during 2011 was he had to play a round of Golf. True fact, I was there, at the memorial service on the on the capitol grounds 8 blocks from the White House and then went directly to a tour of the White House from there. I was told by several members of his Secret Service Detail where he was and it was printed in the D. C. newspapers the next day. Facts are facts no matter how "inconvenient" they may be for the current tenant of the White House. Remember when Bush was taken to task by the press for too many rounds of Golf ? The Vacationer -in-Chief exceeded that record in his first year in office. Let me ask his supporters, if he wasn't black or a Democrat would you be so willing to overlook his many shortcomings ?

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