From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Hayes to Glenn Beck to Don Lemon, cable news voices have been near-unanimous in outrage over the Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner.
Most cable hosts and commentators saw the YouTube video of Garner’s chokehold arrest and struggle to breathe, placing blame on the officer’s excessive use of force for the 44-year-old’s death. By contrast, a handful of cable pundits from diverse backgrounds place the blame squarely on Garner — whether it be because he was obese, a repeated criminal, or because he simply chose to resist arrest.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
America’s favorite supporter of Irish terrorism took to the airwaves multiple times this week to blame Garner for his own death. The man was “obese,” King said, and, “If you can’t breathe, you can’t talk,” he told CNN in an attempt to cast doubt on the dead man’s side of the story. In a Fox interview, the Republican doubled down, suggesting not only did Garner cause his own death by resisting arrest, but by being a criminal for selling — gasp! — loose cigarettes. Watch that below:
The former NYC mayor explained to Fox & Friends that Garner’s case is just like Michael Brown‘s: Both brought their deaths upon themselves by not cooperating with police. “Maybe if Mr. Brown hadn’t committed his crimes and [Garner] hadn’t resisted arrest, they wouldn’t be dead today,” he said. Watch below:
“He looks like a big, massive guy that could give you a lot of problems,” the former NYPD detective and frequent Fox pundit said. Dietl appeared on multiple Fox News shows to defend Pantaleo’s actions as a legitimate “take down,” and then he penned a column for the New York Post declaring that you have no right to resist an officer’s orders, hence Garner’s death. Watch a Fox clip below:
The former NYPD commissioner (and staunch criminal justice reformer) told both CNN and Fox that while he believes Garner was arrested for a “very minor crime,” he agrees with the take down tactics and noted that “Once that police officer says, ‘You’re under arrest,’ you are obligated to comply with that arrest.” And since Garner did not comply, he died. “It’s unfortunate,” he added. “It happens.” Watch his interview with Fox below:
The former GOP nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia told Fox’s Neil Cavuto on Thursday that Garner’s death comes down to this: “It’s the result of a young man having made the decision to resist arrest. And when you do that, things are not going to end well.” Jackson added that he has “had 100 or more interactions with police and I have never had a police officer mistreat me because I don’t mistreat them.” Watch the segment below, via Fox:
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ)
This Republican congressman told Newsmax TV on Wednesday that “justice was served” in Garner’s case. Officer Pantaleo “operated under the scope of his authority,” Salmon said, “and he did what any reasonable officer would have done to subdue somebody that was resisting arrest.” Watch below:
The former NYPD detective put it bluntly to CNN: “He resisted arrest, that is why he is dead.” Watch below:
This one should come as no surprise. The former LAPD detective and frequent cable news commentator told Fox News that the officers were simply trying to “enforce the laws” with their takedown of Garner, hence his own resistance is to blame for his death. Watch below:
The commentator and TheBlaze host appeared on CNN alongside Sunny Hostin for a heated battle over the circumstances surrounding Garner’s death. While Hostin was insistent that the officer should face criminal charges for his actions, Setmayer suggested the grand jury knew more than we see in the video: “We were not there, he was resisting arrest, he was significantly larger than the officers.” Watch below, via CNN:
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