Editor’s Note: Since when is an unarmed man running from the police automatically equal to a death sentence? Why are we as American citizens supposed to just accept that as the norm? Once upon a time police investigated crimes. They weren’t judge, jury, and executioner all in one in a land of people who are obviously considered guilty until proven innocent and not the other way around…
In an unsurprising move, Sean Hannity declared this week that if people run from police, they have played a part in their own murder. In a radio rant, Hannity discussed Freddie Gray, whose murky death in police custody sparked large scale protests and a smaller degree of riots.
His short monologue exemplifies how the Fox propaganda machine operates. He started by saying,
I got to be honest, I don’t know what the answer to the question is. I don’t know why it happened. I know this, I don’t know why the kid ran. What is the mindset of someone, they see a cop and they gotta run? Maybe his record had something to do with it.
Hannity can’t seem to figure out why an African American man would run from the police. Perhaps it has something to do with the daily epidemic of cops killing unarmed, non-violent black men. Maybe it’s because the Baltimore police department has a long, unchecked history of brutality. It’s possible people run from men wielding guns out of fear they will be killed. After all, Americans are more likely to be murdered by an officer than a terrorist. But no, Hannity assured us—it’s probably Gray’s record that made him run.
The Fox News pundit then took a momentary detour to prove he is fair and balanced:
What happened between the time he ran and the time he got in that truck and the time he got some medical care, we don’t know what happened yet. It’s suspicious to me. But I’m not rushing to judgment. …
See? Conservative skeptic Hannity doesn’t blindly trust police! He does give them the benefit of the doubt by “not rushing to judgment,” where conversely, he hypothesizes that Gray’s arrest record made him run. But he’ll be damned if he doesn’t want more information on his death!
In spite of his attempts to appear neutral, Hannity couldn’t hide his agenda for long. He brought the focus right back to Gray’s record, which involved mostly victim-less Drug War offenses:
And his record I mentioned earlier — it has nothing to do with — you know, what happened in this case. I assume that it probably was connected to why he ran and his relationship with police at that time. I mean it’s pretty extensive.
Here, Hannity directly contradicts himself. First he says that Gray’s record has nothing to do with the case. He then immediately implies it has everything to do with his case: he claims this is why Gray ran from cops in the first place (then adds on an extra jab about the length of his record).
Hannity then enlightens us all on how to avoid death by cop:
You know there’s a simple solution in terms of for other people going forward is: don’t be involved in the sale of drugs, don’t think police are your enemies, don’t run at 8:30 in the morning when you see a cop, and certainly that is a part that he plays in this equation.
Ever the Drug Warrior, Hannity reminds people that selling drugs is bad. It is so bad that if you do it, you run the risk of being shot by an officer (remember: if you have any violence on your criminal record or you run, you are no longer entitled to a constitutionally guaranteed fair trial or your spinal cord). But don’t worry kids, cops aren’t your enemies—so if you do run, you’ve caused your own death and the officers are completely innocent (in that implication, Hannity contradicts his own indictment of the officer that murdered Walter Scott, who ran from police earlier this month).
Not to be perceived as biased, Hannity ended his rant by saying,
If the cops did something to him we need to know about it…we can’t have those cops on the street.
Hannity adeptly shows the complexity of corporate propaganda: it continually excuses police officers but occasionally orates that they shouldn’t misbehave, thereby creating the illusion that talking heads do care about justice. Nevertheless, one knows the police state has gone too far when Sean Hannity is expressing so much as a modicum of skepticism toward officers.
The six officers involved in Gray’s death were charged with murder on Friday and will face criminal charges in Maryland. Meanwhile, Fox News will likely continue to remind viewers of the fact that he was a thug who used to sell drugs while it loops clips of the Baltimore riots on repeat.
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Contributed by Carey Wedler of The Anti-Media.