Near the end of his show about the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, Carlson laughed maniacally, then abruptly ended an interview with a guest who dared to criticize police use of excessive force.
Carlson, who spent months spreading lies about Floyd’s death and railing against the Black Lives Matter movement it reignited, invited former New York corrections official Ed Gavin on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to speak after the verdict.
“I want the police to protect people,” Gavin said. “But specifically what we’re dealing with here, is a person in custody, he was handcuffed and subdued. At that point, we have to take a different tact.”
Gavin pointed to a 1995 Department of Justice paper that discussed the “physiology of a struggle” in policing and how being restrained in certain positions can hinder breathing and lead to sudden death.
“I think every law enforcement officer should read that,” Gavin said. “Like I said, Mr. Floyd was brought under control. What should have happened at that point is an EMS should have been summoned and he should have been placed in an ambulance. And a supervisor should have been called to the scene.”
“I just think that it was excessive and it shouldn’t happen,” he added.
At that point, Carlson interrupted and spoke over Gavin, saying, ”Yeah. Well. The guy who did it looks like he’s going to spend the rest of his life in prison. So I’m kind of more worried about the rest of the country, which thanks to police inaction, in case you haven’t noticed, is like, boarded up.”
After cackling, Carlson then abruptly ended the interview:
At the beginning of his program, Carlson also suggested ― without evidence ― that the jury might have been intimidated by politicians and fear of violent protests.
“Everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case,” Carlson said. “After nearly a year of burning and looting and murder by BLM, that was never in doubt.”
Carlson’s comments were condemned online, even though they came as no surprise. He routinely insults and fearmongers about protesters calling for an end to police violence against Black people. He’s described Black Lives Matter as “poison” and a “hoax.” And he frequently spreads lies about the movement’s largely peaceful protests, claiming that cities across the country are being destroyed by rioters and looters associated with the movement.
On Monday, Carlson accused the media of “lynching” Chauvin and contended that most Americans “still cannot say with any specificity just how” Floyd died. Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds during his arrest, as seen in a video of the incident.
On Tuesday, a jury found Chauvin guilty of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter. He could face decades in prison.