Trump-backed Arizona Republican candidates Kari Lake and Abe Hamadeh dismantled the claim that police target racial minorities at a joint press conference Thursday, calling the assertion a lie of the left.
During the event, Lake was taking questions from the press when a reporter citing general “surveys” claimed that “a lot of people of color” feel unfairly targeted by police.
In response, the gubernatorial candidate challenged: “Which surveys? I’m happy to look at those stats because, I will tell you this, that I talk to people of color. I talk to all Arizonans. They’re all concerned about the crime.”
She continued: “Every Arizonan wants safety and security in their neighborhood – it doesn’t matter what your skin color is. And if you look at stats, you will look and see that police do not target people of color. That is a lie that’s been perpetuated by the left and then spread and disseminated and then re-spread in the media. Check the stats.”
Pushing back, the reporter asked, “You don’t believe that’s an opinion a lot of people of color have?”
Lake, however, doubled down, replying: “I don’t. I think you guys find one or two people, three or four – and they’re activists oftentimes – and then you spread that narrative.”
Hamadeh, jumping into the fray, noted that law enforcement is not made up of solely one race. Gesturing to the diverse array of law enforcement officers present at the press conference, he said: “Look around us. These brave men and women – do they look like racists to you?”
The Arizona attorney general candidate also contended that the cities in the Grand Canyon State were “turning into Gotham,” blaming the media’s divisive narrative for the recent surge in crime.
“Law enforcement, they wear body cameras,” he noted. “They do every single thing right, and then all of a sudden, when there’s some minor issue, you highlight it and you try to make it a bigger deal than it is, and you cause rioting on the streets.”
Building off of that, Lake added: “Nobody wants to be in a dangerous situation, and these men and women behind me and the people they represent deserve to go home to their wives, to their husbands, to their parents and children. And when I’m governor, we’re going to see to it that they do make it home. And we’re going to protect them.”
Both Lake and Hamadeh have received the coveted endorsement of President Donald J. Trump, which thus far has proven to be a major factor in Republican candidates’ success.
On Nov. 8, Hamadeh will take on Democrat Kris Mayes while Lake faces off against Arizona’s Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who recently raised brows with her refusal to debate the former news anchor.
Noting the unprecedented and cowardly nature of Hobbs’ decision to forgo a debate, Lake extended the offer again on Monday, stating: “Should you grow a spine, between now and Oct. 12, there will be an empty chair waiting for you on the debate stage. I hope to see you there, Katie.”