The Fox News Channel’s “Kelly File” anchor Megyn Kelly and Congressman Al Green (D-TX) sparred over the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown on Monday.
Green started out by denouncing the rioting, saying “I do not respect those who engage in dastardly deeds. And I think people who commit crimes ought to be prosecuted.” He then continued, “that said, I think that we have to recognize that there has been for many years and probably before you and I were born, Ms. Kelly, black people who have been prosecuted and persecuted in this country and no one says today that all of that prosecution and persecution is no longer occurring.”
Kelly then pressed Green on the specific case in Ferguson and the CBC’s statement that the ruling “seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions.” Green responded to a query on whether he stood by the caucus’ statement, with “I think that in this case we have a basic premise that has not been applied, and that is it is not enough for things to be right, they must also look right. And in this case it doesn’t look right for a prosecutor to take this case to a grand jury when he could have taken it to a judge. He could have had a preliminary hearing. And at that preliminary hearing, we would have had total transparency and the world would have been able to see what occurred.”
Kelly responded “grand jury proceedings are secret. That’s just the way it goes. And they’re used in many cases,” and the two engaged in crosstalk over whether the grand jury was an acceptable means to weigh the evidence in the specific case.
Kelly then turned the evidence behind the “hands up, don’t shoot” slogan, saying to Green “let me ask you this, because one of the problems in this case is that the actual evidence that was presented to said grand jury is being largely ignored by these protesters who we’re seeing with the hands up, don’t shoot,” and reading the testimony of African-American witnesses that Brown charged Wilson.
Green countered “that was not all of the evidence that the grand jury heard,” and pointed to witnesses who testified Brown had his hands up. The two then briefly battled over whether or not there was enough evidence to indict Wilson before Kelly pressed Green on the racial aspect of the case and how the case could be about race when witnesses who said Brown was charging Wilson were African-American. After the two accused each other of cherry-picking evidence that supported their side and Kelly re-asked her previous question after asserting “now it’s my turn,” Green eventually responded “African-Americans can make mistakes, too.” Kelly continued to press on whether these witnesses who supported Brown were racially motivated, Green again pointed to other witnesses who testified Brown’s hands were up, prompting Kelly to ask “but were they racially motivated?” And Green to respond “why are African-Americans only racially motivated?”
The discussion got especially heated immediately after when Kelly said “so, they’re racist too.” Green said, I‘m not saying anybody is racist. You said that. You’re bringing race into this,” and Kelly shot back “you are, you’re part of the Congressional Black Caucus. They’re the ones who released the statement that black lives have no value.”
Green again alleged that Kelly was cherry-picking evidence, adding that “a good prosecutor” would be able to get an indictment with conflicting evidence.
Kelly again argued that her show and Fox News “you get both sides,” with Green countering “you’re not being fair and balanced,” and Kelly responding “we are, and here you get both sides. Unlike the other places where you only hear from the Ferguson protesters.” The interview concluded with Green repeating “read the statements from the other witnesses” as Kelly teased the next segment before going to commercial.
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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