Watch: Tucker reacts to politicization of Derek Chauvin trial
Fox News host Tucker Carlson has called public support for George Floyd an “attack on civilisation” after a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering the unarmed black man in Minneapolis last year.
On his Tuesday evening show, Carlson interviewed a former New York corrections officer, Ed Gavin, who criticised Chauvin for using excessive force on Floyd.
Cutting off the interview abruptly, Carlson said: “Nope. Done. Thank you.”
Speaking about the trial verdict, Carlson said: “The jurors spoke for many in this country, and everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case.
“After nearly a year of burning and looting and murder by BLM [Black Lives Matter], that was never in doubt. Last night, 2,000 miles from Minneapolis, police in Los Angeles pre-emptively blocked roads. Why? They knew what would happen if Derek Chauvin got off.”
Speaking about the former Minneapolis police officer, Carlson said: “If given the maximum sentence under the law, he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Is that a fair punishment? Is the officer guilty of the specific crimes for which he was just convicted? We can debate all that, and over this hour, we will.
“But here’s what we can’t debate. No mob has the right to destroy our cities. Not under any circumstances, not for any reason.
“Before we consider the details of Tuesday’s verdict, a bigger question, one we should all think about: Can we trust the way this decision was made?”
He added: “No politician or media figure has the right to intimidate a jury. And no political party has the right to impose a different standard of justice on its own supporters. These things are unacceptable in America. All of them are happening now.
“If they continue to happen, decent, productive people will leave. The country as we know it will be over. So we must stop this current insanity. It’s an attack on civilisation.”
His comments generated a backlash on social media with one commentator accusing him of having a “complete meltdown”. Fox News has in the past lost advertisers due to Carlson’s comments on the BLM movement.
One social media user who goes by the name Tracee said: “He seriously will not risk one ounce of common sense seeping through to his viewers. He does this all the time. If someone so much as sneezes in the direction of disagreeing he cuts them off and dismisses them. Truly acting like State TV not allowing reality into programming.”
Amy Siskind, an activist and author, said: “Tucker Carlson does not disappoint: opens his show whining that Chauvin was found guilty because the jury was intimidated and pressured by BLM protestors (he calls riots) – and warns people will leave the country, saying its ‘an attack on civilisation’.”
On social media, many thought the jury’s verdict was just. However, others, including Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said that “verdicts are not a replacement for policy change”.
After the verdict came out, the US president, Joe Biden, called for a “moment of significant change” to fight systemic racism in policing.
In a speech from the White House, he said: “No one should be above the law, and today’s verdict sends that message.
“But it’s not enough. It can’t stop here. In order to deliver real change and reform, we can and must do more to reduce the likelihood that tragedies like this will ever happen again.”
Watch: Tucker Carlson rudely cuts off guest who criticizes Derek Chauvin: 'Nope. Done.'