(CNSNews.com) - Suggestions that police are biased and not doing their jobs properly -- made by some of the nation's top leaders -- create a dangerous climate for the men and women who serve and protect, says former U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).
"Why do we believe police need retraining or reorganization and reforming?" West asked.
"The most important thing to understand is leaders establish climate, an atmosphere," West told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Monday night. "And when you have people, such as the president, such as the attorney general, Eric Holder, and (New York) Mayor Bill de Blasio, and look at some of the things that have been said and go back to the Gates incident" (where President Obama accused a white Cambridge, Mass. police officer of acting "stupidly").
In September, for example, Attorney General Eric Holder announced new training for police on "bias reduction and procedural fairness."
On Monday, West criticized Mayor de Blasio for halting New York's Stop and Frisk program and for saying that his own biracial son is threatened by police.
"You remember after the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri -- it was within two hours that the president took to the stage to give his assessment. Where is the president now? He should be talking to these protesters and saying this will not be tolerated in the United States of America. We have a rule of law. We have to have respect and regard for our police officers. We have to honor our system and our due process."
West blamed Mayor de Blasio for allowing recent protests to "get out of hand."
He also noted that "No one has ever talked about the fateful decisions that Michael Brown made to attack a store owner, to rob a store, to it assault and attack a police officer. That's what we need to be having the discussion...about, if the police come up to arrest you, you should comply with the police. Mr. Garner did not do that. Fatefully, those two individuals lost their lives because they didn't have that respect and regard for police and for authority."
West urged the nation's celebrities to drop the "false" hands-up narrative: "They need to stand up with the men and women of the thin blue line and let them know they are with them.
"They are everyday guardians, everyday warriors that protect us. The president needs to reassert that. The attorney general needs to reassert that, as the top law enforcement officer in the United States of America. And Mayor de Blasio needs to come back and retract some of those statements that he has made and stand with those police, or else they will continue to turn their backs on him."
Also appearing on Fox News Monday night, Dr. Ben Carson said he thinks it would be "a very wise idea to start talking about the good that the police do."
Emphasizing the the bad things police do is "demonization," he said. "And you can stir up a lot of bitter feelings about that individual or that group."
Continuing to criticize law enforcement will make officers "somewhat tentative" in the way they deal with problems, Carson added, and "that actually will put more of us in jeopardy. We want the police to be out there, we want them to feel that they will backed up when they use their best judgment on our behalf."
Carson advocates body cameras for police: "But also, the community has to recognize that a thug is a thug. And, you know, when people do bad things, there are consequences for those. And, you know, it's very disingenuous when you come up and take somebody who is doing illegal things and try to make them into a hero, what message does that send? And when you have a legitimate gripe nobody is going to listen to you. We really cannot be doing things like that if we want to make progress."