In a social media post on Wednesday, conservative commentator Candace Owens again hammered the issue of media coverage and public portrayal of high-profile police-involved deaths. George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, both of whom died during an encounter with police, Owens highlighted, were arrested for illegal activity and after amassing long criminal records. The downplaying of their records and actions prompting their arrests, Owens stated, is effectively “sanctifying criminals.”
“George Floyd: high on fentanyl and trying to use a counterfeit bill after 9 prison stints,” Owens tweeted Wednesday to her 2.4 million followers. “Rayshard Brooks: drunk-driving while on probation for beating his wife [and] kids.”
“Why don’t you COWARDS stop pretending these people were changing their lives?” Owens added. “STOP SANCTIFYING CRIMINALS.”
George Floyd: high on fentanyl and trying to use a counterfeit bill after 9 prison stints.
Rayshard Brooks: drunk-driving while on probation for beating his wife & kids.
Why don’t you COWARDS stop pretending these people were changing their lives?
STOP SANCTIFYING CRIMINALS.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) June 17, 2020
Owens’ tweet follows her recent viral Facebook video in which she highlighted Floyd’s criminal record, particularly a 2007 armed robbery of a woman’s home in Houston, for which Floyd was convicted in 2009 and served five years in prison. Owens states in the video that while the media has widely described Floyd as having “started a new life” since being released from prison, his actions and condition when he was arrested suggest otherwise, as he attempted to use a counterfeit bill and had drugs in his system, as revealed by autopsies.
Brooks was fatally shot by an Atlanta police officer after he resisted arrest, seized a taser from one of the responding officers, and fired that taser in the direction of the pursuing officer. Body-cam footage shows that the officers attempted to arrest Brooks after a breathalyzer pegged his blood alcohol level at far above the legal limit.
According to Clayton County, Georgia, court records, Brooks was charged with a number of crimes between 2011 and 2016 and convicted in 2014 on multiple counts, including false imprisonment, simple battery/family, and felony cruelty/cruelty to children. In 2016, he was charged with financial transaction card theft.
In her viral video on Floyd, Owens strongly condemns former Officer Derek Chauvin’s actions, which included kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, and states that Floyd’s family “deserves justice for the way that he died.” However, the commentator pushes back on the portrayals of Floyd as a “martyr” for the black community, stating she is “not going to accept the narrative that this is the best the black community has to offer.”
“For whatever reason it has become fashionable over the last five or six years for us to turn criminals into heroes overnight, and it is something that I find to be despicable and there’s something that I refuse to stand by any longer and I am not going to play a part in it — no matter how much pressure comes from black liberals and black conservatives as some token of people wanting you to believe that this is the only way you can be black,” Owens says.
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