(BREITBART) -- In his remarks Wednesday on the non-indictment of the New York police officer who allegedly choked Eric Garner to death during a routine arrest, President Barack Obama claimed that he does not involve himself in such controversies. "My tradition is not to remark on cases where there may still be an investigation," he said.
The opposite is true: from Skip Gates to Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown, Obama nearly always weighs in.
Even more bizarre was the fact that Obama upstaged New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The news networks had all been awaiting the mayor's press conference at 4:45 p.m. ET. Yet Obama broke in with his own remarks at about 4:43 p.m., interrupting his own pre-scheduled address to a gathering of Native American leaders at the White House to offer his take on the grand jury decision before local officials had their chance to react.
There was no particular urgency to hear the president speak. In contrast, it was important to hear the mayor speak, given the possibility of violence on the streets of New York.
With activists threatening to attack the Christmas tree lighting at the Rockefeller Center Wednesday evening, and demonstrators massing in Times Square, the mayor's message of non-violent protest was urgent. Yet Obama insisted on upstaging de Blasio.
Obama's goal was to connect a local controversy to "the larger issues that we've been talking about now for the last week, the last month, the last year, and, sadly, for decades--and that is the concern on the part of too many minority communities that law enforcement is not working with them and dealing with them in a fair way." Just over an hour later, on MSNBC Al Sharpton announced a Dec. 13 march in Washington along the same lines.
However, it is not clear, based on the available evidence, that there is much of a connection between the Garner case and earlier controversies.