"The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial came to a unanimous and unequivocal verdict this afternoon: Please don't hurt us."
Once again, Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson found himself successfully riling up viewers and non-viewers alike with a take so hot it seems almost as if it was inflammatory by design.
The controversial pundit, who has made a career out of conservative outrage and making shocking statements in the form of innocent questions, reacted to the three guilty verdicts in the Chauvin case by immediately suggesting they were only rendered out of fear by the jury.
"The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial came to a unanimous and unequivocal verdict this afternoon: Please don't hurt us," he said. "The jurors spoke for many in this country. Everyone understood perfectly well the consequences of an acquittal in this case. After nearly a year of burning and looting and murder by [Black Lives Matter], that was never in doubt."
Tucker Carlson reacts to Derek Chauvin's conviction by characterizing public support for Floyd as "an attack on civilization" pic.twitter.com/kfY1NedNu2
As expected, while America was enjoying the most cautiously optimistic sigh of relief, they were still able to muster up enough shock and outrage over Tucker's comments to get him trending at number two on Twitter.
Perhaps not coincidentally -- and certainly related to the Chauvin verdict in the most tragic way -- the top trending topic Tuesday night was Ma’Khia Bryant, the name of the latest Black person (this time a teen girl) shot and killed by police.
That incident remains under investigation, but its indicative of the current social climate and the larger issue the Chauvin trial was seeking to address, and perhaps in a very small way redress. Black lives can't be said to matter until it can be proven that they all matter equally and under the law.
Nevertheless, Carlson's narrative dismissed any evidence brought forth in trial, any witnesses and really anything at all. According to him, this jury could have just as well slept through the whole trial and they'd have rendered the same verdict for fear the "left" would get them.
It also infers, without saying (of course), that had they not been afraid of rendering an innocent verdict, they might well have done so. His claims come without any corroborating evidence, but as a pundit, they are simply his opinion.
"If given the maximum sentence under the law, he will spend the rest of his life in prison," Carlson said of Chauvin. "Is that a fair punishment? Is the officer guilty of the specific crimes for which he was just convicted?"
Carlson wasn't nearly as interested in the answer to those questions, saying they would be debated in the coming hour. "But here’s what we can't debate," he added. "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."
"Those things are unacceptable in America, all of them are happening now," Carlson continued. "If they continue to happen, decent, productive people will leave. The country as you knew it will be over. So we must stop this current insanity. It’s an attack on civilization."
This, of course, means that the stakes couldn't be higher, according to Carlson. It's about more than Chauvin or George Floyd, but about America, which most would agree on. It's the rest of his argument that had Twitter up in arms.
Carlson then attempted to compare the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer to the death of Ashli Babbitt, who was killed by police during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
"Can we trust the way this decision was made? That’s the promise of our justice system, that it’s impartial, that it’s as fair as human beings can make it? That the cop who killed Ashli Babbitt will be held to the very same scrutiny as the cop who was just convicted of killing George Floyd? That political or ethnic considerations will play absolutely no role in jury deliberations? That justice will be blind? Can we say all of that in this case?"
Certainly, most Americans would hope that this is exactly what we can say. And most Americans would be quick to point out that justice has long since not been blind or impartial when it's come to cases involving people of color. So here's hoping Carlson is right, that Chauvin's case is perhaps a new beginning of true and equal justice for all.
Later in the segment, when a guest said that he agreed Chauvin used excessive force, Carlson quickly cut him off, saying he was "more worried about the rest of the country," blaming police inaction for this before launching into a laughing fit many are comparing to the Joker and kicking the guest off the air.
Lol Tucker Carlson does not disappoint: opens his show whining that Chauvin was found guilty because the jury was intimidated and pressured by BLM protestors (he calls riots)- and warns people will leave the country, saying its "an attack on civilization. #whitewhine
This is just such horseshit. Conservatives who are vaguely mad about black activism but can't actually argue for Derek Chauvin's innocence have fallen back to this theoretical argument that the jury was under undue pressure. https://t.co/PEOfLFAC9o
Tucker Carlson started laughing like the Joker, threw his own guest off the air, and then proceeded to spew conspiracy theories about his own high school yearbook, if you’re wondering how his night is going
Tucker Carlson is worried about a justice system in which the jurors feel threatened. This is a new for concern Tucker, as he didn’t say anything when Roger Stone was publicly threatening jurors when he was on trial.
We are seeing Tucker Carlson and others on the right say that Derek Chauvin was convicted not because Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd but because the jury feared riots. These people on the right view George Floyd with same lack of humanity that Chauvin had for him.