Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) said that the protests in Ferguson that followed the death of Michael Brown were "based on a lie" and that there was more racism in the Department of Justice than there was in the St. Louis area.
"The whole blow up of this protest movement was based on the lie that never happened of hands up don't shoot," Kinder told NewsmaxTV’s "Steve Malzberg Show" Monday in comments that were first highlighted by BuzzFeed.
Kinder was referring to a Department of Justice report released last week which concluded that witness accounts that Brown had his hands up when police officer Darren Wilson shot him were "inconsistent with physical and forensic evidence."
But a separate DOJ report on Ferguson police practices found that the protesters were justified in their demonstrations, even if Brown did not in fact have his hands up when he was killed. The DOJ report found that Ferguson police systematically discriminated against African-American citizens and acted as a vehicle for collecting revenue for the town instead of protecting its citizens.
"Clearly, these findings -- and others included in the report -- demonstrate that, although some community perceptions of Michael Brown’s tragic death may not have been accurate, the widespread conditions that these perceptions were based upon, and the climate that gave rise to them, were all too real," Holder said in reference to the report last week.
Kinder also said that the DOJ was staffed with "hard-left radical leftist lawyers," but admitted that the report identified some "legitimate grievances." Kinder pointed to the resignation of six Ferguson employees, including police chief Thomas Jackson, as evidence that reforms were being implemented.
"At some point the protesters need to give us a respite," he said.
Kinder, who has been lieutenant governor since 2005, said that the media and the Justice Department magnified what was going on in Ferguson.
"There is more racism in the Justice Department than anywhere I see in the St. Louis area," he said. "We've come an enormous way in 50 years, that's not to say that we don't have still more to do. It is the left, it is the Eric Holder and the Obama left and their minions that are obsessed with race while the rest of us are moving on beyond it."