Fox News host Tucker Carlson ramped up his inflammatory rhetoric on Thursday night when he essentially argued that Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Jacob Blake were to blame for their deaths and injuries from police, going so far as to tie Taylor to drug trafficking to make his case.
On the same day that a federal judge agreed with Fox News lawyers that Carlson’s program should not be taken seriously as news or information, the primetime conservative star insisted that “every story we’ve been told” recently about police brutality against African Americans “has been at its core a lie.”
Floyd’s death at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers in late-May—the impetus for recent calls to address the racial disparity in policing—had nothing to do with a cop kneeling on Floyd’s neck and everything to do with Floyd’s drug use, according to Carlson.
“George Floyd was executed by racist cops on the street—that’s what they told us,” the Fox star sneered. “Yet when the autopsy became public it showed that George Floyd had lethal levels of fentanyl in his system, among other drugs. Floyd said he couldn’t breathe long before police landed on him as he was in fact sitting untouched in the back of a patrol car but the mob wasn’t interested in hearing those details, they torched Minneapolis.”
Turning to Blake, who was shot in the back seven times by a Kenosha police officer, Carlson noted that officers tried restraining Blake and “tased” him, claiming “that didn’t work” before Blake walked to his vehicle.
“When they saw him reach for a knife, they shot him. What else were they supposed to do?!” Carlson exclaimed. It is still not known whether Blake had a knife in his hands—a knife was later found in the car—and video doesn’t support claims that he ever brandished one.
The Fox News host, whose increasingly racist content has caused despair internally at the network among its Black employees, then defended the lack of charges against the three officers involved in Taylor’s death. The recent decision has sparked fiery protests in Louisville and nationwide.
“Tonight the mob is in Louisville to protest the death of Breonna Taylor,” Carlson huffed. “News organizations told us that Taylor was in bed when police shot her, but she wasn’t. She was in her hallway.”
“We were told that Taylor had nothing to do with her drug-dealing ex-boyfriend who police were investigating, which is why police were there,” he continued. “In fact, intercepted jailhouse communications suggest that Taylor was warehousing that man’s drug money.”
He did not elaborate on that claim.
After pointing out that Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot first as police entered Taylor’s apartment, Carlson also claimed that Taylor was not “surprised” by the police “in the middle of the night” as they executed a warrant.
“Then they told us over and over again that police surprised Taylor in the middle of the night. They barged into her apartment in a so-called no-knock raid. Then yesterday the attorney general of Kentucky exposed that as another lie. The police did in fact knock on Taylor’s door— they identified themselves as police, there’s a witness to it.”
Walker, however, has contended that he never heard the three plainclothes policemen announce themselves before they broke down the door at 12:40 a.m. and the New York Times found only one person among nearly a dozen neighbors at the apartment complex who heard officers shout “police.”
Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover, the target of the drug trafficking investigation, has accused Louisville prosecutors of attempting to bribe him with a lighter sentence if he offered to incriminate Taylor. Glover, who has been hit with drug and criminal syndication charges, claims he was offered a plea deal if he said Taylor was part of a criminal organization, which he did not take.