SPONSORED:

Megyn Kelly: Black Lives Matter 'morphed' into a movement 'co-opted by activists' over summer

Journalist Megyn Kelly said in an interview set to be published Friday that the summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations in response to George Floyd’s death “morphed” into a movement “co-opted by activists.”

Kelly told Carlos Watson of "The Carlos Watson Show" that she initially was more sympathetic to the racial justice protests after viral bystander footage showed former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. 

“When George Floyd was killed I think a lot of Black people and white people were deeply affected by that tape,” she told Watson, the co-founder and CEO of OZY.

ADVERTISEMENT

“And when I saw the riots unfold, my first instinct was how can we ask people to respect law and order and sort of the balance of decency when we don’t live that," she said in a clip of the interview released exclusively to The Hill Thursday ahead of the full interview.

But Kelly said she “began to feel very differently” as the summer went on and demonstrations evolved and some activists promoted the slogan “defund the police.”

“I began to feel very differently, as it morphed into more of a political movement, where to me it seemed co-opted by activists, as opposed to just people who wanted change,” Kelly said. “And some reform in law enforcement turned into ‘defund the police.’ ” 

The Black Lives Matter movement was started in 2013 by three Black, female organizers — Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi — in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the man who fatally shot Black teen Trayvon Martin in Florida, according to its website.  

The defund the police movement refers to plans to reallocate some funding for police departments to social services, such as funding for mental health professionals to respond to certain crises instead of officers. 

“This is not the way to get buy-in on, you know, what started as I think an earnest effort to improve Black lives,” Kelly said.

ADVERTISEMENT

The former Fox News anchor and NBC News correspondent compared the development of Black Lives Matter over the summer to the #MeToo movement.

“It morphed into something that wasn’t gonna be all that helpful,” she said of the #MeToo movement. “It wound up alienating the very group we most need to have buy-in on our progress: men."

“And I think the reality of our racial struggle right now, in part, is for Black people to ascend in a meaningful way, the truth is you need white buy-in too,” she said. 

The deaths of Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., and the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., sparked protests across the country and internationally with people calling for reform to law enforcement and an end to police brutality.