Ben Carson Defends Atlanta Police Officer Who Killed Rayshard Brooks on ‘Fox News Sunday’
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace opened his interview with Ben Carson, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, this weekend, asking about the "terrible incident" in Atlanta that resulted in the police being killed by 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks ended his car after he was found sleeping.
As Wallace put it, Brooks "clearly opposed the arrest" when he apparently grabbed one of the officer's tasers and ran away from them. But, he asked, "was it appropriate to use lethal violence against someone whose original offense was to fall asleep with a Wendy on the thoroughfare?"
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After hinting that he might not know enough about the situation and the police shootings in general, Carson weighed up.
"I think this is a situation that is not as clear as the persistent Minnesota murder," said Carson. "And it really takes the minds of people who know what to do in the circumstances to make a judgment."
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Under pressure from Wallace why he did not believe the shootout was "clear", Carson began to compare this shootout to the police assassination of George Floyd, but the host cut him off. "No, no, I understand that, but why wasn't the Atlanta case clear?" he asked.
"Because we don't know what the officer thought," Carson replied. "If someone turns around and points a gun at them, are they absolutely certain that this is a non-lethal weapon?"
"You know, that's not a clear-cut fact," he continued, repeating the sentence a third time. "Could it have been handled better now? In retrospect, there are certainly other ways to do things. But we, the public, don't know. "
Carson's comments were very similar to those of Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who told Face the Nation presenter Margaret Brennan on Sunday, “This situation is certainly far less clear than the one we saw at George Floyd and several others have across the country. "
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the resignation of her city's police chief on Friday and took a far more determined stance. "I firmly believe that there is a clear difference between what you can do and what you should do," she told reporters. "I do not believe that this was a justified use of lethal violence and have called for the official to be fired immediately."
In a separate interview on ABC News' This Week, Carson declined to support Trump's claims that he was the best president since Abraham Lincoln for the African American community, saying the debate was "not productive."
"Getting into an argument about who was most likely to do is not productive, but it is good to acknowledge the things that have been done," he said.
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