Police department rips Tucker Carlson for "inaccurate" protest report
The police department in Fort Worth, Texas, issued a statement Monday, in which Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson was convicted of an "absolutely inaccurate" report on how to deal with the recent protests. Police said Carlson was ruthless and contributed to "an environment of confusion and bitterness."
The department posted a response to a May 31 Carlson segment on its Facebook page, alleging that chief Ed Kraus dropped "all charges" against dozens of rioters arrested for looting and vandalism. Carlson showed it in a section about Republican-controlled cities that he said to "bow" to Black Lives Matter.
Carlson also alleged that Kraus made a statement "pointing out that the real criminals of the uprising were not the rioters but his own police officers, whom he suggested should be detained and perhaps punished." He said the chief of police sounded "more like a therapist than a policeman" and implied that the rate of murder at Fort Worth could increase "if those responsible undermine the law".
The police said Carlson is undermining the truth.
"This information is absolutely inaccurate and does not match the actual facts," she said. "The only charges that were dropped were minor offenses that involved neither property nor personal crimes."
The department added that Carlson's claim that Kraus had embarrassed his own officers was "absolutely inaccurate and a gross mis-characterization of any statement published by Chief Kraus or the department."
"The ruthless publication of such inaccurate, unchecked information does nothing for the public good and simply creates an environment of confusion and bitterness at a time when so many want their voices heard," it said.
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Kraus' statement after the arrests did not compare his officials to criminals or speak of punishing them, as Carlson claimed, but said he was "determined to implement the reforms necessary to our police department and our relationship with the community we serve , to improve". The chief of police also noted that the protests have been peaceful since May 31.
The police arrested 40 demonstrators on May 31 on suspicion of causing an uprising, and Kraus later announced that all charges of rebellion would be dropped. He clarified that vandalism, theft and assault charges would continue.
The Fort Worth Star telegram indicates some other inaccuracies in Carlson's report. Carlson claimed that three police officers were injured in "riots" while one was injured by a projectile and the other injured in an arrest. And Carlson erroneously claimed that demonstrators blocked a downtown bridge when the police blocked it when protesters marched.
Carlson has largely supported the police in the final weeks of protests calling for reform and has been a critic of the Black Lives Matter movement for years. Major advertisers, including the Walt Disney Company and T Mobile, have suspended his show last week because of his inflammatory comments on Black Lives Matter.
Carlson has not released a correction for information in its segment as of May 31. Fox News officials would not comment on the record to CBS News.
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