Fox News host Tucker Carlson unloaded on Republican Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) on Monday night after Braun introduced a bill that would limit the circumstances in which law enforcement officials could avoid being held personally liable in lawsuits.
Fox News reported, “Under the bill, which Braun introduced last week, officers could only claim immunity from legal action if the conduct in question had previously been authorized or required by federal or state law or regulation, or if a court had ruled the conduct was lawful and Constitutional.”
Carlson unloaded on Braun for his recent support of the far-left activist group Black Lives Matter and for his recent remarks about the shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, who was killed after he resisted arrest and fired a taser at a law enforcement officer.
“Black Lives Matter has of course called for the murder of police officers,” said Carlson. “Why do you support it and are there any other race-specific revolutionary movements that you support? … Have you read their web site? Are you in favor of abolishing the nuclear family? What do you support, exactly, in Black Lives Matter?”
“Not at all,” said Braun. “I support anybody that does have a grievance to be able to air it and that is it. That doesn’t mean all lives don’t matter, it just means that if you think a certain sector of society has a grievance, it ought to be through transparency and a willingness to debate it and get it out there.”
Carlson then pressed Braun on his comments about Brooks. “We just showed tape of you, Senator, saying that we need to make it easier to sue the police because of the egregious incidents like the death of Rayshard Brooks. You said you wanted to speak about specifics. Do you believe that he was killed unjustly? Do you believe Officer Rolfe deserves the death penalty, which he now faces? What did you mean by that?”
“I believe you ought to have the ability just like when anyone civil rights would be violated that you’ve got access to due process to have your case heard,” Braun responded.
“He’s been charged, they have the right to sue him under qualified immunity, as you know since you’re writing the change to the law. So that’s irrelevant,” said the host. “I’m asking about the case, you cited it. Do you believe the officer now facing the death penalty deserves to face the death penalty? And if you don’t, tell us what he should have done.”
“I think that will be determined by the courts,” said Braun, later saying, “you don’t shoot somebody in the back.”
When they addressed Braun’s police reform bill, Carlson asked, “So what law enforcement groups are endorsing your bill?”
“They’re not endorsing it, but they said it was a good place to work from,” said the senator.
“If you care what they think, why don’t you write something they’ll endorse?” said Carlson, adding later: “The country’s burning, not because cops are burning it down, but because the mob is. But you think the morally culpable party is the police, so you’re making it easier for left-wing groups to see them? Am I missing something?”
During the interview, Carlson also pressed Braun for not doing more to help those who are the backbone of the Republican Party: business owners.
“Are you making it easier for business owners to sue the mob for burning their businesses down?” Carlson said. “I haven’t noticed that bill coming out of the Senate.”
Video and transcript below:
FOX NEWS HOST TUCKER CARLSON: As you’ve seen in excruciating detail, no institution in American life has come under more ferocious attacks than local police departments. In Minneapolis, police being abolished entirely. In Los Angeles and New York, their funding is being slashed dramatically. In cities across the country, monuments to the police are being vandalized or ripped down. In the city of Atlanta, officer Garrett Rolfe faces the death penalty for shooting a man called Rayshard Brooks after he stole his taser and fired at him. So what are Republican officeholders doing in the face of this unprecedented attack on our laws and on public safety itself? Well, not a lot. Few have stepped up to defend the police from totally bogus accusations of ‘systemic racism,’ some are repeating that slur. One Republican has gone farther than that. As we told you last week, Senator Mike Braun of Indiana has introducted legislation to make it easier for left-wing activists to sue police officers. We must do this, Senator Braun explained in part because Rayshard Brooks’ death was egregious.
SEN. MIKE BRAUN (R-IN): I wanted to put a template out there that protects law enforcement from frivolous lawsuits but holds the egregious departments and individuals accountable in these instances of a George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, or Breonna Taylor.
CARLSON: In case you suspect we somehow selectively edited that clip, here’s Republican Senator Braun going all the way in endorsing Black Lives Matter.
REPORTER: Do you support the black lives matter movement?
BRAUN: I support that movement because it is addressing an inequity that has not been solved from a grassroots level.
CARLSON: After a segment on Thursday, Senator Braun asked to come on this show to detail his position and of course we’re happy to have him, thank you so much for coming on. Before I ask you about qualified immunity and your attempts to water it down, I was very surprised by that endorsement that you gave on camera of Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter has of course called for the murder of police officers. Why do you support it and are there any other race-specific revolutionary movements that you support?
BRAUN: So, Tucker, thanks for having me on in the first place, I know when you came out, and I like it when somebody does challenge especially something like this, when you’re talking about changing something that’s been around for a while and I come from mainstreet. Your viewers are my supporters and I’ve got one of the most conservative voting records.
CARLSON: I don’t know about that.
BRAUN: No, that’s true. You’d have to check with them just like I checked with the Indiana State Police, Indiana Sheriffs Association, Fraternal Order of Police spent over an hour with them last week to make sure I wasn’t off-base and here’s where I come from–
CARLSON: I’m sorry, i’m confused, really quick. You’re off base in your support of Black Lives Matter? Your endorsement that you just gave? Have you read their web site? Are you in favor of abolishing the nuclear family? What do you support, exactly, in Black Lives Matter?
BRAUN: Not at all. I support anybody that does have a grievance to be able to air it and that is it. That doesn’t mean all lives don’t matter, it just means that if you think a certain sector of society has a grievance, it ought to be through transparency and a willingness to debate it and get it out there. I’m going to always go on the merits of the particular case and going back to what I learned last week, first of all, law enforcement in Indiana thought I was talking about eliminating it or drastically modifying it. This was to define that sweet spot to where they said they are being unduly stigmatized because of these events because in some cases, their own aren’t held accountable, and when they knew that, they basically said we need to be in the discussion. Look how we got with Obamacare when we refused to discuss it 10 years ago.
CARLSON: I’m sorry, we just showed tape of you Senator saying that we need to make it easier to sue the police because of the egregious incidents like the death of Rayshard Brooks. You said you wanted to speak about specifics. Do you believe that he was killed unjustly? Do you believe Officer Rolfe deserves the death penalty, which he now faces? What did you mean by that?
BRAUN: I believe you ought to have the ability just like when anyone civil rights would be violated that you’ve got access to due process to have your case heard.
CARLSON: They do have that right, qualified immunity has nothing to do with that case. He’s been charged, they have the right to sue him under qualified immunity as you know since you’re writing the change to the law. So that’s irrelevant. I’m asking about the case, you cited it. Do you believe the officer now facing the death penalty deserves to face the death penalty? And if you don’t, tell us what he should have done.
BRAUN: I think that will be determined by the courts.
CARLSON: You cited it. What do you think of it? You’re the one who called it egregious, so why don’t you tell us what officer Rolfe should have done when this man fired a taser at him. What do you think?
BRAUN: I think that you should have had the judgment in a traffic stop like that, you don’t shoot somebody in the back, so, if we keep doing that–
CARLSON: Hold on. I want you to explain. I think it’s fair. You are an office holder. I don’t normally press people like this but it’s not fair for you to filibuster without answering the question which is very simple. The officer facing the death penalty had a guy fire a weapon at him, what should he have done then?
BRAUN: Probably not have killed the guy.
CARLSON: What should he have done? You’re not saying its egregious. Let him go?
BRAUN: Do you think he was going to get away? They were going to find him.
CARLSON: You tell me. You’re the one judging the officer, so maybe you could explain why you’re judging him.
BRAUN: Tucker, that’ll all come out in the court process and all I’m saying, let me finish this, if we don’t get better at it for all of us on mainstreet, Democrats are going to spin it, Chuck Schumer has already decided he can make hay of this in the election and we will end up on the short side of it again.
CARLSON: Who controls the senate? Does Chuck Schumer control it? I thought republicans controlled the senate? so you’re taking your cues from chuck schumer? You’re saying Chuck Schumer might criticize me and therefore i have to pass a law that makes it easier to sue police?
BRAUN: Tucker, you know you have to have 60 votes in the senate to get anything done.
CARLSON: They’re about to change that when they take over.
BRAUN: You can check my record, I stand on it and even law enforcement in Indiana thinks in some of these cases, it is giving them a bad name and bad apples, there ought to be due process therefore the victims.
CARLSON: So what law enforcement groups are endorsing your bill?
BRAUN: They’re not endorsing it but they said it was a good place to work from.
CARLSON: Well, why aren’t they endorsing it then? You’ve cited them twice as supporters of this idea but they’re not endorsing your bill so they don’t actually support it, so why are you bringing them up as evidence that it’s a good idea?
BRAUN: They think it’s a better idea to be in the discussion then to be outside of it.
CARLSON: If you care what they think, why don’t you write something they’ll endorse?
BRAUN: That doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t get there. That’s not going to be done today. The Democrats now think they can win with it in the election, and that’s why we need to be engaged now in a way that would have kept it on the table.
CARLSON: So you need to write a bill that law enforcement won’t endorse? The country’s burning, not because cops are burning it down but because the mob is, but you think the morally culpable party is the police so you’re making it easier for left-wing groups to see them? Am I missing something?
BRAUN: You are missing it, but you’re trying to put words in my mouth.
CARLSON: I’m not.
BRAUN: I don’t justify any of the looting, any of the rioting, and if you don’t address the underlying issue, you think it’s going to fix itself on its own? You think it’s going to get better?
CARLSON: You think the underlying issue is Rayshard Brooks being shot? So, you’re telling me that what’s happening now is the result of police behavior, it’s the fault of the police? That’s what you’re saying?
BRAUN: No, I’m saying what they are getting by with on the other side is trying to generalize on the specific and they will get away with it if we decide to do nothing. That’s just a general disagreement and approach.
CARLSON: Are you making it easier for business owners to sue the mob for burning their businesses down? I haven’t noticed that bill coming out of the senate.
BRAUN: If we are not in the discussion, we are going to be on the sidelines like we are on so many issues as conservatives because we failed to engage and they run circles around us in the end run.
CARLSON: You think you’re going to keep the senate in the fall on this platform?
BRAUN: I think we are going to keep the Senate if we at least are willing to engage in issues that are important to the American public and that we don’t always stand on the sidelines until it’s too late. It’s more about when you get involved in the issues.
CARLSON: I don’t think the public supports you at all on this.
BRAUN: I think law enforcement knows they need to have a better system than what they’ve got now because it is stigmatizing them.
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