Since a 28-year-old mentally disturbed man assassinated two New York City police officers on Saturday, Fox News has blamed Americans protesting police brutality and inequality in the justice system for inciting hatred towards police and encouraging deadly violence. The network has seized on the execution-style murder of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos to condemn President Barack Obama and other African American leaders for creating an anti-police environment and has even called on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to resign.
But the network hasn’t always seen the protesters as agents of death.
In fact, prominent Fox personalities actually expressed outrage and shock after a Staten Island grand jury’s chose not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner. Following that decision, Fox repeatedly played tape of Garner pleading with police officers that he “can’t breathe” and spoke favorably of the very protesters it now claims are responsible for inciting violence.
ThinkProgress examined the network’s coverage of protests related to the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner from Dec. 3 through Dec. 19. Fox did harp on instances of violence by some protesters and criticized de Blasio for “supporting” the protesters, but it also reported that the overall tone of those actions was peaceful, admitting — however tacitly — that the greater movement toward social justice could not be held responsible for the brutal killings that followed. Below is a super-cut of Fox’s favorable coverage:
Since Saturday’s assassination, however, the network has looped video of some protesters calling for the death of police and have characterized the protesters as full of “hatred.”
On Monday, de Blasio defended the protests as peaceful, but called for break in activism to allow the families of the slain police officers to grieve. “Politics and protests can be for another day,” the mayor said. “Let’s see the families through the funerals.”
Some protesters have rejected the call for a moratorium, however. As one member of the Justice League told MSNBC, “We’re not anti-police, we’re anti-police brutality. Every cop isn’t bad … Every black man isn’t a criminal.”