While Fox News host Sean Hannity said on Tuesday that he was not “rushing to judgment,” he still argued that it should be easy to address the issue of police use of force in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death.
“You know there’s a simple solution in terms of for other people going forward is: don’t be involved in the sale of drugs, don’t think police are your enemies, don’t run at 8:30 in the morning when you see a cop, and certainly that is a part that he plays in this equation,” Hannity said on his radio show in audio posted by Media Matters.
Hannity made his remarks in response to a call from a listener who described himself as a black man and a former New York City police officer.
“It’s kind of embarrassing to me as an African-American to see what’s happening,” the caller said, before being interrupted by Hannity.
“Why would you be embarrassed?” Hannity asked. “You’re an individual. You’re your own man. You are your own person.”
Hannity then insisted to the guest that the actions of other African-Americans did not reflect on him individually.
“If an Irish guy goes out and gets drunk, is that a reflection on me? No,” the host asked.
The caller countered by blaming the unrest in Baltimore on the city’s “horrible educational system,” “liberal policies” and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
“It’s embarrassing to me that I have to walk around with the skin that I have,” he said. “And that’s a reality for every African-American who wants a job, wants to sell their house.”
When the caller then conceded that it appeared that police “did something they shouldn’t have” regarding Gray, Hannity interjected again.
“I got to be honest, I don’t know what the answer to the question is. I don’t know why it happened. I know this, I don’t know why the kid ran,” Hannity said. “What is the mindset of someone, they see a cop and they gotta run. Maybe his record had something to do with it. What happened between the time he ran and the time he got in that truck and the time he got some medical care, we don’t know what happened yet. It’s suspicious to me. But I’m not rushing to judgment.”
Listen to Hannity’s discussion with the caller, as posted by Media Matters on Tuesday, below.