Fox News host Tucker Carlson cast doubt Tuesday on what caused the death of George Floyd in light of leaked video footage of his fatal May 25 arrest becoming public this week.
The host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” waxed conspiratorial about Floyd’s death in police custody after The Daily Mail released several minutes of new video showing his arrest.
“Floyd’s death changed everything. It was a pivot-point in American history. No matter what your side you’re on, that is very clear at this point. So with all of that in mind, the significance of the event in mind, it’s striking how little we really know months later about how exactly George Floyd died,” said Mr. Carlson.
Two separate autopsy reports have ruled Floyd’s death a homicide, with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office in Minnesota finding he died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.” Four members of the Minneapolis Police Department have been charged in connection with his killing and have pleaded not guilty.
“The official storyline is clear, it couldn’t be clearer. Established news organizations state as a matter of factual certainty that Floyd was, in the words of NBC News and so many others, quote, murdered by a Minneapolis police officer. Politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, echo that claim. Ideologues amplify it. According to filmmaker Michael Moore, Floyd was, quote, lynched by a cop’s knee with a lynch mob of cops looking on,” said Mr. Carlson.
“That certainly is a vivid image, but does it reflect what actually happened? The short answer is we’re still not precisely sure how George Floyd died. The trial of the indicted Minneapolis police officers hasn’t yet started. We’ll know a lot more when it does,” Mr. Carlson continued. “The media, in the meantime, aren’t that curious about gathering further details and they’re actively hostile to anyone who is. Ask too many inconvenient, unauthorized questions about George Floyd, and you’ll be banned from the internet. The catechism has been written and it’s in stone. George Floyd is a martyr. Period. That’s all you need to know. Shut up.”
Mr. Carlson subsequently proceeded to play excerpts from The Daily Mail’s footage, which was captured by cameras worn by two of the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest.
Previously unavailable to the public, the video shows Floyd resisting officers trying to arrest him moments before he was forcefully restrained on the ground and eventually died.
Mr. Carlson noted as he narrated the footage that Floyd’s autopsy found evidence of fentanyl in his system and speculated the drug could have been responsible for his death.
“So the question is, why haven’t we seen the rest of the video until right now? The video seems relevant, particularly considering all that is happened next,” said Mr. Carlson.
“It’s very clear that we are being manipulated and cowed into accepting a very specific interpretation of events that has been used for political purposes. Why are we going along with this?” Mr. Carlson said moments later.
Hennepin County District Court confirmed Wednesday it is investigating the leak of the body-cam footage. The officers’ trial is currently scheduled to start next March.