George Floyd’s brother was among the witnesses invited by Democrats to speak at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on police brutality Wednesday morning. Republicans invited Fox News contributor Dan Bongino.
Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent who has made several unsuccessful bids for Congress, used his opening statement to endorse the “few bad apples” theory of police misconduct. But by the time he was getting questioned by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), he was going full “All Lives Matter.”
Jeffries listed off the many familiar names of black men and women who have been unjustly killed by police officers. “But Mr. Bongino, the police are at times able to show restraint under very difficult circumstances, is that correct?” the congressman asked. After Bongino answered in the affirmative, Jeffries listed off some well-known mass shooters, like James Holmes and Dylann Roof, who were not killed by police despite being heavily armed.
“The police somehow arrested Dylann Roof without incident and even treated him to Burger King,” Jeffries said. “Mr. Bongino, Dylann Roof is white, is that correct?”
“I don’t see where you are going with this,” Bongino replied, adding: “It was an awful thing he did, whether he was white or black.” After another similar example, Bongino said, “I don’t know why you’re making a racial thing out of it.”
“Because black lives matter, sir!” Jeffries told him.
“All lives matter, sir,” Bongino shot back. “Every single life matters. White, black, Asian or otherwise.” When Jeffries spelled out the point he was making, Bongino said, “I arrested those people, sir, you didn’t,” apparently referring to his stint as an NYPD officer in the late ’90s.
Turning to another witness, Jeffries said: “Innocent, unarmed African-Americans are repeatedly killed in police encounter after police encounter. Is it fair to say that the difference, which seems explicable, in police behavior, somehow relates at least in part to race?”
As Georgetown Law professor Paul Butler answered: “In law and in police practices, black lives do not have the same value that white lives have.”