Sean Hannity deceptively suggested that Freddie Gray caused his own death – and then teamed up with Fox's resident Sheriff David Clarke for the next seven minutes or so attacking African Americans for “rushing to judgment.” And worse.
Hannity announced at the beginning of the discussion that “shocking new details” have surfaced about Gray’s arrest: “The Washington Post reporting that Gray intentionally tried to injure himself by smashing himself into the walls of the police van after being taken into custody by the police.”
But The Post made it clear it had not corroborated this allegation from a prisoner who could not see Gray in the van.:
A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.
The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.
The document, written by a Baltimore police investigator, offers the first glimpse of what might have happened inside the van. It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version, which is just one piece of a much larger probe.
But Hannity conveniently overlooked the uncertainties in The Post’s reporting. He also failed to note that The Post reported that it is still unknown whether Gray’s fatal injuries occurred in the van or during his arrest. Or this Post tidbit:
Video shot by several bystanders has fueled the rage in West Baltimore. It shows two officers on top of Gray, their knees in his back, and then dragging his seemingly limp body to the van as he cried out.
(Baltimore Police Commissioner) Batts has said Gray stood on one leg and climbed into the van on his own.
Ironically, Hannity and his guest, the ubiquitous-on-Fox Sheriff David Clarke, used most of the segment attacking a slew of African American Democrats for rushing to judgment and being divisive.
“Every time I have interviewed you in a high-profile case, you always say do not rush to judgment," Hannity told Clarke. "Once again, you have been proven right and we try not to do the same on this program.” I recently pointed out some previous examples of Hannity “not rushing to judgment.” We can safely add this segment to the list.
Hannity urged Clarke to baselessly speculate that Obama is to blame for the Baltimore violence. And Clarke readily complied.
HANNITY: When you put all these cases together: Cambridge and Trayvon and Ferguson, ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ and now this case. Do you think his words are creating an atmosphere that is empowering people to act this way?
CLARKE: I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that quietly. I think he’s enjoying this and I say that because he’s built a career off of dividing people. Creating divisions, stoking animosity, the rich versus the poor, the one percent, tax the rich, the war on women, stoking the racial animosity with the stuff like the whites, and the conservatives and Republicans are trying to take your vote away and all this other nonsense, it’s been very destructive for America.”
In fact, Clarke sounded downright divisive right there on Hannity as he called it “disgusting” that Obama had said if he had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.
Clarke also attacked former attorney general Eric Holder for supposedly calling St. Louis police “thugs” (I could not find any such quote). Clarke called Congressman Elijah Cummings a “windbag” for saying we need “structural change” while speaking at Freddie Gray’s funeral - adding, “God rest his soul and God bless his family."
Clarke also had a few words about the mayor of Baltimore:
CLARKE: She abandoned her police officers, she put them in harm’s way with no way to defend themselves and then told them to stand down. I find that unfathomable. I find it unconscionable that she would do such a thing.
Funny, I didn’t hear a single constructive prescription for change from Sheriff Uniter, did you?
Watch it below, from last night’s Hannity.