Tucker Carlson is trying to make Derek Chauvin, the police officer on trial for killing George Floyd, the racial victim of Floyd's death by dishonestly arguing that George Floyd died of drugs, a theory contradicted by Minnesota’s Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Minnesota’s Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that the cause of Floyd’s death was, "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression." The office noted that Floyd had drugs in his system but did not call them the cause of death.
But Carlson tossed aside those findings in order to suggest to his white nationalist fan base that Floyd was another member of the Blacks Behaving Badly posse Carlson and his network love to hate and, therefore Floyd’s own bad behavior got him killed.
Fox has successfully argued in court Carlson should not be believed, while pretending otherwise when he’s on the air, but in his opening commentary, there was no warning that Carlson's words were not to be taken seriously. In fact, just the opposite occurred.
The serious-sounding Carlson signaled to his fan base early that he sees whites as the real racial victims in the case:
CARLSON: George Floyd murdered because he was black. That's what they told us. They demanded that we believe that, and if you doubted it in any way, if you had any questions about the facts of the case, then you were effectively as guilty as the racist cop who killed George Floyd.
Then the self-proclaimed “sworn enemy of lying” lied and gaslit his way through the rest of his commentary, beginning with this falsehood:
CARLSON: We're going to assess calmly and as honestly as we can what happened to George Floyd on Memorial Day.
Carlson went on to worry that the officer on trial for Floyd’s death, Derek Chauvin, may not get a fair trial. You may be surprised to know that I share that concern. But Floyd and his family also deserve a fair trial. Yet Carlson was openly working to acquit Chauvin without showing an iota of interest in what evidence may be presented at trial.
CARLSON: No one in the media thought to tell us that in fact, using a knee to restrain an uncooperative suspect is the official policy of the Minneapolis Police Department.
In fact, it's taught at the Police Academy.
You're seeing a slide from training from the academy on your screen right now.
But you didn't see that slide last summer because our media were busy building a murder case against Derek Chauvin and using it to transform this country, which they successfully have.
FACT CHECK: As Insider reported, kneeling on a suspect's neck is a dangerous maneuver that has been banned by most Minnesota law enforcement agencies. It is still allowed in Minneapolis for officers who have been trained in its use. However, the Minneapolis Police Department focuses on "guardian" tactics, in which deadly force is used as a last resort.
“Honest” Carlson never mentioned that. Instead, he went on to make a show of sympathy for Floyd – right before proving he has no interest in any facts that might convict Chauvin:
CARLSON: So George Floyd was emotionally out of control, and that's why you feel so deeply for George Floyd, some of us did. I did, as you watch that video. He's panicked. He's terrified. He's hysterical.
Why was George Floyd on the verge of hysteria? The police officers wondered the same thing. "You've got foam around your mouth," said one cop to Floyd. A bystander looking on said to George Floyd, "You're going to die of a heart attack."
"Are you on something right now?" The police officer asked. "No," says George Floyd. But that wasn't close to true.
According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office, George Floyd wasn't simply high, he had a lethal dose of fentanyl in his system. He also had methamphetamine.
The autopsy report showed that Floyd had 11 nanograms of fentanyl per millimeter of blood in his system when he was tested at the hospital. How much is that? It's more than three times the amount of fentanyl required to kill a healthy person.
In August, after months of rioting, documents related to the autopsy were finally released in court. One was a memo detailing a conversation the prosecutor's office had with Andrew Baker. Baker was the Chief Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
Baker told prosecutors that quote, "Mr. Floyd, if he had been found dead in his home or anywhere else, and there were no other contributing factors, we would conclude it was an overdose death."
The memo noted that Baker said Floyd's fentanyl levels were quote, " ... pretty high," and that, " ... it is a fatal level of fentanyl under normal circumstances," end quote.
FACT CHECK: Somehow, Carlson failed to mention that the medical examiner did not list drugs as the cause of death.
CARLSON: In a separate memo, Baker announced, quote: "The autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation."
Well, Mr. Floyd was having trouble breathing, of course, the most noted part of the tape. What explains that? Why was George Floyd telling officers, "I can't breathe"?
Well, here's one possible explanation. One of the primary symptoms of fentanyl overdose is quote, "slowed or stopped breathing, leading to unconsciousness and death." That might also explain while George Floyd was saying "I can't breathe" long before any police officer's knee was anywhere near him.
It’s nice to know that Fox and Carlson aren't letting a total lack of credentials deter him from opining that Floyd caused his own death (while pretending to care about a fair trial).
Later, Carlson outright acquitted Chauvin:
CARLSON: Again, no one can watch that footage without feeling sympathy for the man in handcuffs. He is terrified. But does that footage amount to a murder? No, it doesn't. It so clearly doesn't.
Then Carlson brought on a conservative blogger to help validate the messaging.
If Carlson really cared about facts and a fair trial, he would have turned to a medical expert. The Washington Post turned to seven experts. Six “disagreed with that idea [that Floyd died from drugs or underlying health conditions], most of them strenuously” and the seventh said he did not have enough information to make a conclusion.
So, I think we know why Carlson went with his gut instead of an expert.
You can watch Carlson lie and distort below, from the March 10, 2021 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
(H/T Headly Westerfield for the title)
Carlson could not have been more dishonest in this segment. If (and that’s a big “if”) Floyd were indeed high on drugs, the cop should have called an ambulance instead of kneeling on his neck with such nonchalance, his hand in his pocket and even rather pleased to be filmed. He was enjoying his moment of power.
Carlson is a despicable excuse for a human being.