Wednesday, FNC host Tucker Carlson criticized the double standard in the American criminal justice system, which he argued applied based on the politics of the individuals involved.
He pointed to how the Department of Justice was handling the January 6 U.S. Capitol incident and other acts of violence around the country, which have led to civil unrest, as examples.
Transcript as follows:
CARLSON: the ironically named civil rights division of the Biden Justice Department announced today there will be no charges brought against the man who shot and killed protester, Ashli Babbitt in the Capitol back in January.
No one who pays attention and was surprised to hear this. In cases like this, the benefit of the doubt usually does go to law enforcement, as we have often said we are fine with that. It should.
But still, in a free society, the rest of us have a right to know roughly what happened. Of the doubt usually does go to law enforcement, as we have often said we are fine with that. It should. But still, in a free society, the rest of us have a right to know roughly what happened. In this case, we have a right to know who shot Ashli Babbitt and why? No one will tell us.
The Biden administration says the man who killed Babbitt is a Capitol Hill police officer and he did the right thing. That is all they’ve said.
We know that Ashli Babbitt was short. She was female and she was unarmed. There was no evidence the officer who killed her gave her any kind of verbal warning before he pulled the trigger. Is that now standard procedure?
We imagine the rules of engagement for Federal agents were limited to the use of deadly force in situations where law enforcement has reason to believe they or the people they are around are in imminent danger of being harmed.
You can’t just shoot people without warning because they are in the wrong place. That is not allowed. Except now, apparently it is allowed.
So when did these rules change? And once again, who exactly shot Ashli Babbitt?
Journalist exist to ask these questions, but they are not asking them. The Washington Post wrote a long story today about the DOJ’s announcement and never raised a single one of these questions. “The Post” did not name the shooter or even acknowledge that the government is withholding the name of the shooter. Quote: “Authorities determined that there was insufficient evidence to prove Babbitt’s civil rights were violated,” the Post declared, and that was it.
The rest of the piece was a personal attack on Ashli Babbitt and on her political views. She deserved to die. That was the point of “The Washington Post” story.
How amazing to read something like this, especially now. Eleven hundred miles from Washington, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a police officer accidentally reached for her gun instead of a Taser and killed a man called Daunte Wright. It was a tragedy. All shootings are tragedies.
But we know that officer’s name because every news organization in the country printed it immediately. She has now resigned. She is now facing charges. Her mug shot is everywhere. It is all over the internet.
And that is why two nights ago, a mob showed up at her house and forced she and her husband to flee.
Now, she is not the only one. Last August, a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin shot a man called Jacob Blake. Do you remember that? Riots erupted immediately.
Well, yesterday, that officer was cleared of all charges. When that story broke, NPR, National Public Radio, put that police officer’s name and photograph on the front of their website. So, that is the standard, except in this case, where they are still hiding the identity of the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt. Are you sensing a theme here?
The standards that big news organizations who used to cover shootings depend entirely on the political views of the people who get shot. When “The Washington Post” does not like the candidates you vote for, they suppress the details of the case.
In the case of Ashli Babbitt, we know next to nothing about how she died, and we wouldn’t know anything if her shooting hadn’t been captured on video by people who don’t work at “The Washington Post.”
One of those people is a video editor from Texas called Samuel Montoya. Montoya was in the U.S. Capitol that day. Montoya does not look much like a white supremacist. He has no criminal history that we are aware of.
On January 6, Samuel Montoya took what may be the clearest video of Ashli Babbitt’s death.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
CARLSON: So there are a lot of things to notice about that tape. It is a very sad tape, but here’s what jumps out. Ashli Babbitt had no weapon. She was not attacking anyone. She could not attack anyone because she was climbing through a window at the moment she was shot.
But what is most striking and never discussed is that several Capitol Hill police officers in paramilitary gear, the guys with the helmets with the cameras, were standing directly behind Ashli Babbitt when she was killed.
They were carrying what Joe Biden refers to as weapons of war, loaded AR- 15s. So explain to us slowly how Ashli Babbitt posed an imminent physical threat to anyone when she was killed? Well, she didn’t.
Samuel Montoya’s footage proves it, and we are grateful that we have that tape. If we did not have that tape, The New York Times will be telling us that Ashli Babbitt was beating people to death with a fire extinguisher when she was killed, but thanks to Samuel Montoya, The New York Times cannot claim that.
We would love to have Samuel Montoya tonight on the show to describe what he saw that day, but we can’t do that because he is in jail. Yesterday, a large group of armed Federal agents showed up at Montoya’s home in Austin, Texas. They smashed his front door, they confiscated his electronic devices, and they threw him in jail.
He is still there. He is behind bars right now.
So what was his crime? Well, to find out, we read the Biden administration’s arrest warrant application. The FBI says it began investigating Samuel Montoya after one of his family members provided quote, “proof that Montoya was physically inside the U.S. Capitol near the shooting of a woman on January 6, 2021.” End quote.
Now, to be clear, Montoya did not shoot the woman, Ashli Babbitt, he just happened to be nearby. But wait a second, weren’t there plenty of journalists inside the Capitol on January 6? Well, according to CNN, yes, there were.
In fact, CNN ran a piece telling us that quote, “Congressional reporters became the country’s eyes and ears as rioters stormed the capital.” So the question is, why hasn’t the FBI arrested the people that CNN identified in its story? The photographers from Getty, for example, the political reporters from NBC News, the congressional correspondents from CNN itself, and from the AP?
Well, that is a good question. The FBI explains why in the warrant affidavit. Quote: “At times during the video, Montoya describes himself to others inside the Capitol building as a reporter or a journalist as he attempts to get through the crowd. And yet … “the FBI concludes,” … the Director of the Congressional press galleries within the Senate Press Office did a name check on Samuel Christopher Montoya and confirmed that no one by that name has congressional press credentials as an individual or via any other or news organization.”
Oh, so that is the standard. If the U.S. Congress is credentialing office says you are not a journalist, then you are not a journalist. Did Samuel Montoya have strong personal political views? Apparently, he did. But you may have noticed that is not so unusual in journalism right now.
So why is journalist Samuel Montoya behind bars tonight? Well, he committed a crime, quote, “interfering with government business.” In other words, trespassing. Okay.
If this happened in Ukraine, what are the chances that NBC News would describe Samuel Montoya as a dissident journalist? And then describe Ashli Babbitt as an unarmed pro-democracy demonstrator? The chances are roughly 100 percent.
But this is America, and they are not saying that. Instead, they are telling us that Ashli Babbitt deserved to die.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: She embraced conspiracy theories. Her name was Ashli Babbitt, 35 years old. She tweeted about pizza gate, she tweeted thousands of tweets to FOX News hosts. She engaged in social media with the conspiracy news internet site, Info Wars. In 2020, she began to tweet with QAnon accounts and used QAnon hashtags.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Oh, so not a pro-democracy demonstrator, not an unarmed military veteran. No, she sent tweets to FOX News hosts, so no problem, Ashli Babbitt got what she deserved.
What is amazing is not simply the grotesque cruelty of assessments like that, a young woman is shot to death and the media applaud her death. No. What is more amazing is the contrast between this and the coverage of other violence that is now in progress.
Last night, Biden voters burned a police building in Portland, Oregon. Did you know that? Probably not. Didn’t get much coverage.
In the wake of Daunte Wright’s death the other day, riots broke out all over the country, in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis. Here’s what Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, looked like on Sunday night.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
CARLSON: They are stealing stuff off the shelves, but don’t call it looting. No, that is a peaceful demonstration. We know that because the Mayor of Brooklyn Center, Mike Elliott, told us so.
Two nights ago, Mayor Elliott tweeted a picture of himself on the scene, quote: “Earlier this evening, I had the opportunity to go talk to these peaceful protesters,” he wrote. “Our city’s calm now.” Here’s the funny thing, the Mayor was wearing a Kevlar helmet in the picture he tweeted out.
That is not in Syria, that is in his own town. That is how peaceful it was. He was wearing a Kevlar helmet. Whatever else he is, doubtless, many things, Mike Elliott is not a very effective liar. Others, by contrast, have decided to drop the pretense entirely.
BLM leader Bree Newsome no longer talks about peaceful protest. She doesn’t want those anymore. Quote: “I’m definitely in the camp of defending looting and rioting as a legitimate politically informed response to state violence.” She wrote that in a tweet that the Twitter censors have pointedly left up.
Now, in case you are guessing, of course, Bree Newsome is a child of privilege. Only privileged people could be that decadent. What’s really striking is that Bree Newsome once committed a more aggressive version of the offense that Samuel Montoya is charged with.
A few years ago, Bree Newsome trespassed at the Capitol in South Carolina and ripped down the flag. She also trespassed in the State Lawmakers Office and refused to leave. Is she rotting in jail? No. She was arrested briefly, and then she drew praise from no less than Hillary Clinton herself.
Hillary Clinton endorsed at that particular insurrection, but not everyone gets the same treatment, you may have noticed, and that should worry you, no matter who you voted for, no matter how fervently you may support Joe Biden.
This is a huge, society-ending problem. Laws have no meaning if they are not applied equally. When they are not applied equally, they are not even laws. They are purely tools of persecution, and you don’t want to live in a country like that. Even if people you don’t like are the ones being persecuted.
But Rashida Tlaib does want to live in a country like that. Tlaib is a Member of Congress, so her security is never in question, it is never in doubt. She is surrounded by bodyguards carrying weapons of war, and now by thousands of Federal troops that you are paying for, so she is fine.
But in your neighborhood, Rashida Tlaib would like to see the police eliminated. Quote: “No more policing, incarceration and militarization,” Tlaib wrote this week. “It can’t be reformed.” Again, militarization is fine if the military is protecting her. She has got federal troops. No, not for you. You get mob rule.
Now, we are not making this up. We are not misquoting her. She is demanding this in public as a Member of Congress, and many are.
Watch this character on MSNBC tell you that we must abolish your police department immediately.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I have been saying we need to abolish American policing as it currently exists. It doesn’t work.
You know the average homicides that are actually solved by police departments? Only about 35 percent. You know the number of rapes and sexual assaults that are solved by police departments, you know, less than 60 percent.
Do you know the percentage, likelihood of being shot unarmed as a black person is like five times as likely than a white person?
Policing does not work the way we are doing it right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: A panel of privileged people telling you to abolish the police, but they are not saying actually abolish the police. We often claim they are, but listen very carefully.
They are saying they want to abolish American policing as it currently exists. And that raises the question, “How does policing currently exist?” Here is how.
Local communities get to control it. So the cops walking down your street, you hired them. They work for your town. You pay their salaries. And that is what Rashida Tlaib doesn’t like. That is what offends MSNBC.
The thing they hate about community policing is they don’t control it and that means they can’t use your local police department to punish you for your political views. For that, they have to go to the FBI, and it drives them crazy.
So abolishing the police doesn’t mean getting rid of people with guns. It merely and specifically means stripping you of any control over your local law enforcement. So it is just a more ambitious form of gun control. It is meant to disempower the citizenry, not protect them.
When your police department answers to them, things will be very different. To get a sense of how different, take a look at what the Biden administration is doing in the State of Oregon.
In the past few days, Federal prosecutors have essentially dropped half a dozen Federal felony cases that arose from those famous riots in Portland last summer. The Feds reached non-prosecution agreements. Those agreements ensure that people who committed felonies will walk away with no criminal record of any kind.
Oh, Samuel Montoya is not getting that.
So, what are the defendants in Oregon accused of doing? Well, much more than trespassing. One of them, a woman called Alexandria Eutin was charged with beating a Portland police officer in the head with a wooden shield as he was trying to make an arrest.
Another defendant called Alexis Daron Graham was charged with trying to bring down a police aircraft with a laser pointer. Now that is bad, obviously, but it is not quite as bad as, say, voting for Donald Trump or walking around the U.S. Capitol building with a camera.
Alexandra Eutin and Alexa Graham will not have a criminal record by the end of this. Samuel Montoya, by contrast, could spend the next seven years in jail.
You see what is going on. You hate even to say it out loud, but it is too obvious to ignore. Two systems of justice. One for the allies of the people in charge, and a very different one for their enemies.
The people doing this are not traditional liberals. They are not calling for a peaceful utopia where no one uses violence. This is not the famous tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. That was the old liberalism.
We used to make fun of it when it was going on. We could use a lot more of it now.
This is scary.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor