April 16, 2021
Evangelical leader Pat Robertson said Thursday that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin should be “put under the jail” for kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, as the minister called for police to stop the “onslaught” of violence at the hands of law enforcement.
What are the details?
During a segment of “The 700 Club,” Robertson discussed a number of high-profile cases where people were killed in altercations with officers.
The minister brought up the recent case of Daunte Wright, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop by an officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. The now-former officer, Kimberly Potter, claims she mistakenly grabbed her service weapon rather than her Taser to use against Wright as he resisted arrest.
Holding up a handgun and a Taser in opposite hands as props, Robertson said, “Now how she made the difference when she shot that poor guy to death…if you can’t tell the difference and the feel of those things, it’s crazy.”
Robertson told his audience, “You know, I am pro-police, folks. I think we need the police, we need their service, and they do a good job. But, if they don’t stop this onslaught…they cannot do this.”
He went on to discuss the case of a Virginia policeman pepper-spraying a uniformed black Army officer, asking, “why they don’t stop this.”
Then, Robertson moved on to what happened to George Floyd, saying, “This thing that’s going on in Minnesota with Derek Chauvin. I mean, they ought to put him under the jail. He has caused so much trouble” by kneeling on George Floyd’s neck.
“It’s just terrible, what’s happening,” the minister continued, saying of the police, “why don’t they open their eyes to what public relations are? They’ve got to stop this stuff.”
According to The Hill, Robertson concluded:
“We need police. We need them and we need to honor them and I’m all for it. But at the same time, we cannot have a bunch of clowns running around who are underpaid and who really are not the best and brightest. We’ve got to have the best in there.”
Several media outlets expressed dismay over Robertson’s criticisms of the police, with The Independent declaring that he surprised “everyone” after giving a “damning critique of American police.”
The Daily Beast headline read, “Pat Robertson—yes, Pat Robertson—lashes out at cops: ‘They’ve got to stop this stuff!'”
Uproxx reported, “Even Pat Robertson can’t wrap his brain around how a cop could mistake their gun for a Taser.”
But The Hill pointed out that Robertson, a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump, criticized Trump last year for the president’s “law and order” stance in reaction to riots across the nation following the death of Floyd.
“”It seems like now is the time to say, ‘I understand your pain, I want to comfort you, I think it’s time we love each other,’ ” Robertson said at the time. “But the president took a different course. He said, ‘I am the president of law and order,’ and he issued a heads-up.”