Fox News report by Tucker Carlson on Fort Worth protest a ‘gross mischaracterization,’ police say
Fort Worth, Texas – The Fort Worth Police Department criticized a Fox News story by Tucker Carlson this week, calling it “absolutely inaccurate” and a “gross mischaracterization” of a protest in Fort Worth following the death of George Floyd. Floyd was killed May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. The officer faces a murder charge and was fired.
Monday’s episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight focused on Black Lives Matter protests in Republican-controlled cities. During the segment, Carlson said Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus dropped all charges against dozens of protesters arrested during a May 31 demonstration.
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“This information is absolutely inaccurate and is not consistent with the actual facts,” the department said in a statement posted on social media. “The only charges dropped were minor misdemeanors which did not involve property or personal crimes.”
A representative at Fox News told The Dallas Morning News Tuesday that Carlson was referring to a statement issued June 8 by the Fort Worth Police Department, in which Kraus said all rioting charges against protesters would be dropped.
Forty-seven charges for rioting were dropped and three cases are still pending, said Officer Jimmy Pollozani, a police spokesman.
The protesters were arrested after a SWAT team used tear gas to disperse a crowd after a standoff on the West 7th Street bridge, which was peaceful and lasted several hours, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
No looting or rioting occurred during the demonstration, according to the Star-Telegram.
Kraus originally said that charges against the protesters wouldn’t be pursued, but later clarified that assault and vandalism charges would not be dropped, the Star-Telegram reported.
During the report, Carlson said that Kraus “issued a statement suggesting the real criminals in the riot were not the rioters, but his own police officers, who he suggested would be reigned in and perhaps punished.”
Fort Worth police said Carlson’s summary of the events is not correct.
“This too is absolutely inaccurate and a gross mischaracterization of any statement released by Chief Kraus or the department,” the department said. “Recklessly releasing such inaccurate, unverified information does nothing for the good of the public and simply creates an environment of confusion and bitterness during a time in which so many are wanting their voices heard.”
In the June 8 statement Carlson referred to, the department said it heard the community’s call for reform and that it was “committed to enacting the necessary reforms to improve our police department and our relationship with the community we serve.”
The Star-Telegram noted several other inaccuracies in Carlson’s report, including falsely saying Fort Worth businesses were looted and reporting that three officers were injured during the “riot.” One officer was hit by a projectile and another was injured while making an arrest, the Star-Telegram reported. Tucker also incorrectly said protesters blocked the West 7th Street bridge, when it was actually blocked by police, according to the Star-Telegram.