On Monday afternoon, as jurors started to deliberate over former officer Derek Chauvin’s fate, Juan Williams attempted to calmly explain something to his co-hosts on The Five that may seem obvious to non-Fox News viewers: Police brutality is a real problem in America. Jesse Watters didn’t want to hear it.
In the final moments of that show’s broadcast, The Five’s only co-host of color simply tried to raise the importance of the video evidence in the George Floyd case. “We always give the benefit of the doubt to law enforcement in this country,” Williams said. “But we have gone through a sea change over the last few years because people have cellphones and cellphone cameras, and people have been recording what the police do.”
“The fact that you had the visual, that the jury could see, that the nation could see what took place, could time the extent to which the knee was on the neck,” he continued, “I think that has made a tremendous difference and it has added credibility to the idea that, you know what? The police often go to extremes that are indefensible when it comes to their handling of American citizens and especially citizens of color.”
This basic set of facts was too much for Watters, who at this point immediately interrupted his co-host, shouting, “That’s not true! They don’t often go to extremes, Juan, that is not true! The police don’t often go to extremes. That’s just not true and you should know that’s not true.”
“Of course it’s true,” Williams replied, offering to go through the list of unarmed people of color killed by police in recent years. “How many names do you want me to go through, Jesse?”
Watters, in turn, ranted and raved about the number of cellphones in America compared to incidences of brutality caught on camera. “There’s only a handful of these incidents a year!” he exclaimed. “I actually think that speaks well of the police, don’t you?”
While it depends on your definition of “often,” the numbers seem to be on Williams’ side. Just this week, The New York Times reported that in the three weeks since the Chauvin trial began, police killed at least 64 people in the United States, an average of more than three killings per day.
As Watters went on to accuse his co-host of “smearing” every police officer in the country, Williams replied that he was merely trying to acknowledge the “history.”