The White House denied a request from more than 140,000 people to formally designate Black Lives Matter as a terrorist group.
Petitioners said Black Lives Matter should be considered a terrorist organization, according to their July 6 petition on “We The People,” because of its actions in Ferguson and Baltimore. The petitioners asked the Pentagon to declare Black Lives Matter a terrorist group “on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality and safety.”
The White House, which is automatically required to respond to petitions with at least 100,000 signatures, said the U.S. government does not generate a domestic terror organization list and therefore could not address the petition.
The petition was posted the day before the deadly shooting of five police officers during a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas. Black Lives Matter organizers formally condemned the actions of the shooter.
“Black activists have raised the call for an end to violence, not an escalation of it. Yesterday’s attack was the result of the actions of a lone gunman,” organizers said in a statement on the Black Lives Matter website. “To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible. We continue our efforts to bring about a better world for all of us.”
The response to the petitioners urged them to recognize that this is a difficult time for the country and that this is a charged debate. President Obama said people should be careful not to think that Black Lives Matters protesters are anti-police.
“I understand these protests,” President Obama said at the July 12 memorial service for the officers killed in Dallas. “I see them, they can be messy. Sometimes they can be hijacked by an irresponsible few. Police can get hurt. Protestors can get hurt. They can be frustrating.”