In criticizing a $13 million NYPD settlement, Fox host Brian Kilmeade denies George Floyd protesters were beaten

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade declared “I didn’t see any of it” to dismiss the New York Police Department’s mistreatment of protesters during the 2020 George Floyd protests, for which New York City agreed to pay a $13 million settlement.

NBC’s New York station reported that the settlement stems from “a civil rights lawsuit brought on behalf of roughly 1,300 people who were arrested or beaten by police during racial injustice demonstrations that swept through the city during the summer of 2020.” If approved by a judge, it “would be among the most expensive pay-outs ever awarded in a lawsuit over mass arrests.”

Kilmeade responded to news of the settlement by denying that the violence had occurred, saying, “I didn’t see any of it,” and suggesting that there was no video evidence of the police violence against protesters.

Video file

Citation From the July 20, 2023, edition of Fox News' America Reports

SANDRA SMITH (CO-ANCHOR): Nightly protests, meanwhile, and scenes of unrest were all too common in the summer of 2020 following the death of George Floyd. Here in New York City, you’ll remember protesters clashing with the police. Businesses were boarding up to prevent looting. The demonstrations costing the city and private businesses tens of millions of dollars. But now New York City is rewarding those behind the riots by agreeing to pay more than $13 million to settle a lawsuit, which means more than a thousand people who claim that they were victims of unlawful police tactics could get $10,000 apiece. Brian Kilmeade is here, co-host of Fox & Friends and host of One Nation. Brian, great to have you here today.

BRIAN KILMEADE (FOX NEWS HOST): Sandra, imagine if this was our money. Don't you think they would have fought a little harder if it was their individuals' money, if the individuals being sued? But it's taxpayer dollars, they're paying it out to the protesters who they say they were treated harshly, corralled, and they said they were beaten. 

I didn't see any of it. With all these iPhone cameras it's hard to imagine all these protesters having all these lawsuits at a cost of, I guess we're going to look at $13 million.

Fox & Friends had also ignored reports of police violence against protesters back in June 2020 when it was fresh. And when Fox wasn’t ignoring police violence, it was excusing it.

But of course Kilmeade is lying here. There were many news reports of the NYPD’s use of force against protesters. 

In March, Vice reported on a separate multimillion-dollar settlement over the NYPD’s brutality against protesters, and covered a Human Rights Watch report that the police’s conduct amounted “to serious violations of international human rights law.” 

In February, the Daily News reported on a Civilian Complaint Review Board finding that dozens of NYPD officers who were accused of excessive force weren’t disciplined. In October 2021, the same police watchdog said that dozens of officers should be disciplined for misconduct during the protests. In December 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that the city’s Department of Investigation “found fault in the NYPD’s use of force, including mass arrests, baton and pepper-spray use and other tactics such as ‘kettling.’” 

There were also multiple reports of the NYPD attacking and arresting journalists covering the protests.

And if it’s video Kilmeade wants, he can watch the nearly 10-minute video produced by Business Insider showing multiple incidents of police beating protesters.