'He Didn’t Deserve That': O'Reilly Says We All Should Pity Garner and His Family
In tonight's Talking Points Memo, Bill O'Reilly reacted to the grand jury declining to charge a New York City police officer who killed an African-American Staten Island man.
"On July 17, New York City police confronted 43-year-old Eric Garner in Staten Island," O'Reilly said. "Garner was a low-level street dealer of illegal cigarettes and was not happy to see the police. Officers wanted to place handcuffs on Mr. Garner and were initially cautious but when they moved in the worst happened."
"Mr. Garner died at a hospital a short time later, the medical examiner calling his death a homicide. Thus, the grand jury. Garner had a record of mostly non-violent offenses and was out on bail at the time of the confrontation."
O'Reilly noted that New York City police policy is that chokeholds are not allowed, and Mayor Bill de Blasio's comments today placed him clearly on the side of the Garner family.
"Talking Points does not know what happened and until we read the grand jury transcripts, which are sealed right now, nobody can know," "The Factor" host said.
But that does not stop some agitators from stirring up controversy, he added.
"However, I will say that upon seeing the video that you just saw and hearing Mr. Garner say he couldn't breathe, I was extremely troubled. I would have loosened my grip. I desperately wish the officer would have done that."
O'Reilly said that, yes, Garner was obese, he had asthma and he was in no condition to absorb what befell him.
Yes, he should not have resisted, but all Americans, every one of us, should pity Mr. Garner and his family, O'Reilly said.
“He did not deserve what happened to him and I think Officer Pantaleo and every other American police officer would agree with me. He didn’t deserve that.”
Watch the full Talking Points Memo and see Tavis Smiley's reaction in the clip above.