An all-white male panel of Fox News experts defended the militarization of police in Ferguson, Missouri and the actions of police officer Darren Wilson, arguing that local police districts need to use tear gas, rubber bullets, and armored vehicles to defend the country from Islamic terrorists.
On Sunday, Ferguson police fired tear gas into the crowd and shot people protesting the murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown with rubber bullets, hitting several children in the crowd, and even threatened members of the media live, on-air. Officials said that Sunday’s actions were prompted by protesters throwing Molotov cocktails at police, though authorities have fired tear gas, dispersed crowds with smoke bombs, and pointed automatic rifles, directly at protesters throughout the week.
“The response last night is what needs to happen,” retired NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik told Fox News on Monday morning.
Bo Dietl, a Fox News contributor and former NYPD detective, went even further. He argued that authorities in Ferguson must “take charge” and defended arming local precincts with unused military equipment from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars by invoking the threat of global terrorism.
Since 2006, the Defense Department has “distributed 432 mine-resistant armored vehicles to local police departments. It has also doled out more than 400 other armored vehicles, 500 aircraft, and 93,000 machine guns,” Defense One has reported.
“They’re coming back, they’re coming back these extremist Muslims are coming back and they’re going to do something in the United States and you can’t fight them with pea shooters,” Dietl said.
Towards the end of the segment, Dietl criticized Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of the police response, for sympathizing with the African American community over its outrage over the Brown killing and directly defended Wilson.
“We’re dividing white and black again. America has no color, it’s all one color,” he explained. “Just maybe the cop was right, maybe he was getting beat up, we don’t know what happened. Also remember, he was shot in the back, now comes up he was shot in the front. When you are in a shoot out, you’re firing away, you stop and you’re shooting the torso you’re trying to stop somebody. I don’t know how he got hit in the head, but bullets go that way. He was trying to stop this guy.”
A preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. “One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury,” the New York Times reports. Fox News did not mention the report during the segment.