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Fox News's Gutfeld says he's happy with Chauvin verdict: 'Keeps this country from going up in flames'

Fox News's Gutfeld says he's happy with Chauvin verdict: 'Keeps this country from going up in flames'

Fox News host Greg Gutfeld said Tuesday he is happy to see former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin convicted of the murder of George Floyd because he believes Chauvin is guilty, but also because it "keeps this country from going up in flames." 

"This didn't divide a nation at all," Gutfeld said during the network's coverage of the verdict. "Anybody who saw the video was disgusted by it, right? I mean, I can't think of anybody that said, 'Hey, that was OK.'" 

Gutfeld, who is often critical of the press, said there was a "myth going around" that the country was divided over the outcome of the case, with some in the media pushing an idea that the "nation was filled with racist rubes that somehow makes their viewers feel superior." 

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Gutfeld added he was happy Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts. 

"Even if he might not be guilty on all charges," he said. "I am glad that he is guilty of all charges, because I want a verdict that keeps this country from going up in flames." 

Floyd's slaying, which was captured on video, led to widespread protests last year against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. A police reform bill backed by Democrats in Congress bears his name.

Multiple locations across the nation had braced for potential violence in the wake Tuesday's verdict, with Washington, D.C., activating National Guard troops and leaders including the governor of Minnesota and the mayor of Portland, Ore., declaring states of emergency.

A Fox News spokesperson declined to offer comment on Gutfeld's remarks, which sparked audible groans from his co-hosts, including former New York Judge Jeanine Pirro. 

"Uh-uh, no," Pirro said. 

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"What do you mean?" Gutfeld replied. "I'm at least being honest. My neighborhood was looted. I don't ever want to go through that again." 

"We do not sacrifice individuals for the sake of how people feel," Pirro shot back. 

Gutfeld reiterated he thought Chauvin was guilty, saying "you can't argue with that." 

Pirro told him the courtroom "is a place where the evidence is brought in and it is pristine in terms of the way it's handled." 

Gutfeld said people across the country felt "a sense of extortion that if this didn't go a certain way, I'm speaking the truth, there was going to be destruction. We know that, why pretend otherwise." 

After the verdict was handed down, Pirro applauded the criminal justice system in America. 

“Clearly, the verdict is supported by the facts — this case was extremely unusual. I’ve tried many murder cases, and I sat as a judge on murder cases," she said. "It is rare that you even get a picture of the victim in a murder case other than maybe an autopsy photo. But here, we had a living, breathing person that the jury was able to relate to everyday, day after day. Watching the trauma of what he went through. Begging for air, begging to breathe."

"This was an emotional as well as an intellectual decision," she added. "And when I say that, make no mistake, the facts are solid on this verdict."