Tucker Carlson suggests Chauvin jurors intimidated by protests: ‘Please don’t hurt us’
Tucker Carlson on Tuesday suggested that the jury in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was pushed to reach a guilty verdict by the possibility of further protests and civil unrest if there was an acquittal.
The Fox News host opened his Tuesday edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” by commenting on the decision by the jury in the Chauvin trial to find the former officer guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd.
Carlson began, “The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial came to a unanimous and unequivocal verdict Tuesday afternoon: ‘Please don’t hurt us.’ ”
“The jurors spoke for many in this country; everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case,” the conservative TV personality continued. “After nearly a year of burning, looting, and murder by BLM [Black Lives Matter], that was never in doubt.”
“Last night, 2,000 miles from Minneapolis, police in Los Angeles preemptively blocked roads. Why? They knew what would happen if Derek Chauvin got off,” he added.
The trial outcome was praised by activists and elected officials alike, including President Biden, who ahead of the announcement Tuesday told reporters he was “praying” for a guilty verdict.
Carlson on Tuesday suggested that such commentary tainted Chauvin’s access to a fair trial.
“In the end, he didn’t get off. If given the maximum sentence under the law, he will spend the rest of his life in prison,” Carlson said. “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,” he added. “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.”
“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,” he said, adding that these actions are “an attack on civilization.”
Carlson then asked, “So 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?”
Following about 10 hours of deliberations, the jury on Tuesday found Chauvin guilty on three criminal counts — second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder.
Chauvin was immediately taken into custody with his bail revoked and later Tuesday was transferred to the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights.
Chauvin’s sentencing will take place in the coming weeks. The former cop could face up to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder, a maximum of 25 years for third-degree murder and up to 10 years for manslaughter.
Later in Tuesday’s program, Carlson interviewed former New York City Deputy Sheriff Ed Gavin, who criticized Chauvin’s actions seen in graphic footage from Floyd’s May 2020 death as “pure savagery.”
“I’d like to see more training for police. I’d like to see the police trained as EMTs like in the fire department,” Gavin said, adding that Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes “was clearly an excessive, unjustified use of force” and that Tuesday’s “verdict was just.”
Carlson then pressed Gavin on whether the verdict in the Chauvin case could impact policing, especially in deciding when to use force in responding to violent protests and civil unrest.
“I want the police to protect people,” Gavin responded, reiterating that Chauvin’s actions were “excessive” and should not have happened.
Carlson then said before ending the interview, “Yes, well, the guy who did it looks like he is going to spend the rest of his life in prison, so I am kind of more worried about the rest of the country, which, thanks to police inaction, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s like, boarded up.”
–Updated at 11:41 a.m.
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