Fox News’ Tucker Carlson opened his Tuesday evening show questioning whether jurors came to a fair decision in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Earlier in the day, jurors returned guilty verdicts on all three counts Chauvin was charged with in the death of George Floyd last May: Second-degree unintentional murder; third-degree murder; and second-degree manslaughter. Jurors deliberated for 10 hours, 20 minutes following closing arguments on Monday.
But Carlson suggested that Chauvin’s fate was a foregone conclusion following a year’s worth of rioting, looting, death, and violence, most of it at least loosely linked to Floyd’s death.
He also proposed jurors came to their verdicts out of fear that had they not found the former police officer guilty, an acquittal would have sparked new waves of rioting and violence, and that they themselves would have been targeted.
(Video: Fox News)
“The jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial came to a unanimous and unequivocal verdict this afternoon: Please don’t hurt us,” Carlson began.
“The jurors spoke for many in this country,” Carlson continued. “Everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case. After nearly a year of burning and looting and murder by BLM, that was never in doubt.”
To provide context for his conclusions, Carlson noted that “2,000 miles away in Los Angeles,” police and authorities blocked roads and made other preparations for violence they knew would come if Chauvin was not found guilty, at least, of murdering Floyd.
To that point, the city of Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota have both been preparing for weeks for likely violence in the wake of a potential acquittal. Barriers were installed around the government center where the trial was taking place, extra police were on duty or standby, and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz activated hundreds of National Guard troops weeks ago.
All of that preparation in and of itself to prepare for violence if a specific trial outcome had not occurred unquestionably had an influence on jurors as well as the perception among many Americans that Chauvin was never going to receive a fair trial, Tucker posited.
“In the end, [Chauvin] didn’t get off,” Carlson said. “If given the maximum sentence under the law, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.”
According to published reports, Chauvin, 45, faces up to 40 years in prison. Following the reading of the verdicts by Judge Peter Cahill, prosecutors requested that Chauvin’s bail be revoked; Cahill granted the request and remanded the former police officer to the custody of the state. His sentencing hearing is in eight weeks.
“Is that a fair punishment? Is the officer guilty of the specific crimes for which he was just convicted? We can debate all that,” Carlson continued. “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.”
He went on to say that “no political party” has any right to “impose a different standard of justice” on its backers. And while all of those things are currently “happening in America,” if the trend continues, “decent, productive people will leave” the U.S.
“The country as you knew it will be over, so we must stop this currently insanity,” said the host, adding that the country is literally “at stake.”
“Before we consider the details of today’s verdict, a bigger question, one we should all think about: can we trust the way this decision was made? That’s the promise of our justice system, that it’s impartial. That it is as fair as human beings can make it,” he said, adding “that the cop who killed [Trump-supporting Capitol protester) Ashli Babbitt will be held to the same standard as the cop who was just convicted of killing George Floyd.”
Carlson went on to say that racial and ethnic considerations should play no role in deciding guilt or innocence.
“Can we say all of that in this case,” he wondered, “and if we can’t, why can’t we?”
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