Fox hosts and guests rushed to the defense of a police officer suspended after video surfaced of his brutal treatment of teenagers outside a pool party in McKinney, Texas. The video showed the officer pulling his gun on two teenage boys, then slamming a girl down onto her face.
Video Shows Texas Police Officer Pulling Gun On Teenagers, Manhandling Teen Girl
Wash. Post: “Video Shows Texas Police Officer Pulling Gun On Teenagers At Pool Party.” The Washington Post reported on a video showing white police officer in McKinney, Texas brutally detaining and pulling a gun on black teenagers following a pool party:
A white police officer in McKinney, Tex., has been suspended and a rally is being planned to call for his firing after a shocking video emerged Saturday that shows the officer manhandling, arresting and drawing his gun on a group of black children outside a pool party.
The video, which was uploaded to YouTube over the weekend, captures a chaotic scene in a suburban community about 40 miles north of Dallas that grows increasingly tense when the officer -- identified as Cpl. Eric Casebolt -- attempts to throw a teenager onto a sidewalk before using his body weight to push her head toward the concrete. He is also seen pulling her hair.
When several teenagers move toward Casebolt, he lets the teenager go and takes several steps toward them. As they begin to back up and then turn to flee, he pulls out his gun and approaches menacingly before two other officers appear to intervene. [The Washington Post, 6/8/15]
Fox Personalities Criticize The Teenagers And Try To Justify The Officer's Actions
Fox's Tom Shillue: Video “Didn't Shock Me At All” Because The Teen “Was Intimidating The Cop.” On the June 8 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Tom Shillue claimed the video “didn't shock me at all” because “the cops are breaking up a party, these guys are great.” Later Shillue justified the officer pulling a gun on the unarmed teen claiming “he was intimidating the cop” by running in his direction. [Fox News, The Five, 6/8/15]
Fox Business' Lou Dobbs: "What In The World Are Police, We Have To Ask, Supposed To Do When People Who Don't Respect The Law ... Refuse To Obey?" Fox Business host Lou Dobbs defended the officer, asking, “what in the world” are police supposed to do when people “refuse to obey” their orders? [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 6/8/15]
Fox's Brit Hume On Brutal Responses By Police: “If You Obey The Police It Doesn't Usually Happen.” On the June 8 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, senior political analyst Brit Hume claimed that arrests and actions like those taken by the officer in McKinney, Texas, don't happen “if you obey the police.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/8/15]
Fox's Kelly: “The Girl Was No Saint Either.” Fox News host Megyn Kelly responded to the brutal video showing a teen girl being manhandled by a Texas police officer by commenting that “the girl was no saint either. He had told her to leave, and she continued to linger. And when the cop tells you to leave, get out.” She followed this by saying “I'm not defending his actions, let me make that clear.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/8/15]
Sean Hannity Claims That Officer In Texas Was Justified For Pulling A Gun Because Teens Could Have Come Up And “Hit Them With A Shank In The Back.” On the June 8 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, Fox News host Sean Hannity defended the Texas police officer, saying there is an environment of children not respecting the police, which President Obama has contributed to. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 6/8/15]
Fox Guest Bo Dietl: The Teens Might Have Said “I'm Gonna Pop A Cap.” On Fox's Hannity, guest and former NYPD detective Bo Dietl claimed that the police officer in the case could have felt justifiably threatened because the teens might have told him, “I'm gonna pop a cap.” [Fox News, Hannity, 6/8/15]
Fox's Doocy Questions “Rush To Judgement” Of Arresting Officer. On the June 9 edition of Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Brian Kilmeade reiterated their network's defense of the McKinney police officer, airing several segments from prior programs that attempted to exonerate the officer and highlight his purportedly strong “track record.” Doocy lamented what he called a “rush to judgement” in the case, stating “let's just figure out what happened, and then let the cards fall where they may”:
KILMEADE: Well you know, the whole thing is you see this video, and it has about six million views, probably up to even higher now, and then you say to yourself, “well I kind of feel that I saw the whole story,” but you didn't. You weren't there when we got there. We weren't there when the cops got there. You don't know what the call was. You don't know what they were looking for.
DOOCY: What we do know, is that there is an investigation right now. And we do know that some people are calling for the cop to be fired. Why the rush to judgement? Let's just figure out what happened, and then let the cards fall where they may.
KILMEADE: I mean, his track record should matter, and it's a good track record. He's a strong officer.
HASSELBECK: He was 10-year veteran. He was named the department's patrolman of the year in the past. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/9/15]
Fox's Todd Starnes: “Apparently - If You Object To Teenagers Terrorizing Your Neighborhood - You're A Racist.” In a June 9 post to his Facebook page, Fox contributor Todd Starnes defended the officer's treatment of so-called “teenage thugs” and warned that media criticism of the police created “a slippery slope to anarchy”:
[Facebook, accessed 6/9/15]
*This item has been updated