Fox News host Megyn Kelly was angry on Tuesday that a demonstrator in Chicago chose to stare at a police officer during a protest against the use of lethal force against 17-year-old Laquan McDonald last year, Media Matters reported.
“You think that’s fine?” she asked guest Richard Fowler. “You have no problem with this?”
“This is his First Amendment right,” he replied.
“It’s not a question of what his constitutional rights are,” Kelly said. “It’s a question of what’s appropriate.”
The silent confrontation, which Kelly described as an “extraordinary moment,” was captured on video as part of a demonstration criticizing police for McDonald’s death last October. Footage released on Tuesday shows Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting the teen 16 times despite McDonald not being close enough to “lunge” at him, as authorities have claimed. Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the incident.
“Listen, you’re going to have guys like this,” former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said of the unidentified young protester. “You know they want to instigate.”
“What is he instigating?” Fowler asked.
“Richard, look at him,” Kelly said. “This is a cop out there accused of doing nothing wrong, trying to keep the peace.”
“This guy is having a silent protest with this police officer,” said Fowler. “This is his First Amendment right.”
“He gets right in his face and stares him down?” Kelly asked. “This cop hasn’t done anything wrong.”
Kelly mentioned later in the segment that, while no one on the panel was defending Van Dyke’s actions, why there were no similar demonstrations in the city concerning fatal shootings involving black residents. She did not mention that, as the New York Daily News reported last month, there are already a number of organizations addressing such incidents within communities of color.
Similarly, Slate reported last December that Chicago is one of a number of cities where activist efforts to fight gun violence have increased, amid an overall decline in homicides among black Americans.
“You may not have noticed black protests against crime and violence, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t happened,” Jamelle Bouie wrote. “Black Americans — like everyone else — are concerned with what happens in their communities, and at a certain point, pundits who insist otherwise are either lying or willfully ignorant.”
Watch the discussion, as posted by Media Matters on Tuesday, below.