Fox News host Jesse Watters seemingly attempted to justify the shooting of three protesters Tuesday in Kenosha, declaring on Wednesday that “sadly, you’re going to have vigilante justice” in response to the demonstrations over the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.
Hours before Wednesday’s broadcast Fox News’ The Five, 17-year-old “Blue Lives Matter” fanatic Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide for allegedly shooting and killing two people and injuring a third in Kenosha. Rittenhouse, an Illinois resident, traveled to the Wisconsin city to serve as a vigilante guard of local businesses amid the violent protests over Blake’s shooting.
Prior to discussing the slaying of two protesters, Watters first suggested that Blake—who was shot in the back multiple times by police and is now paralyzed according to his family—deserved what happened to him. First saying his “heart goes out to the Blake family,” the pro-Trump host noted that police reportedly wrestled Blake to the ground, tasered him, and claimed they told him to “drop the knife.”
“Taser does not affect him,” Watters declared. “He goes into his vehicle and looks like he’s reaching for something. If someone reaches in a vehicle like that after they have assaulted a police officer and resists arrest, if you’re a police officer, you’re trained to neutralize that suspect.”
“We don’t even know if he had a gun because the state won’t release that information,” he added. “That is critical information. Some believe seven rounds in that situation is excessive.”
Turning to the Kenosha protests and Rittenhouse’s alleged shooting of multiple people, Watters groused that the state hasn’t sent enough officials to “calm things down.” And then he seemed to excuse the existence of violent militias.
“Sadly, you’re going to have vigilante justice,” Watters shrugged. “You’ll have business owners send in people or go in themselves to protect their small business that they’ve worked their lives to make work. Things happen and it’s horrible. That’s not the way to handle it, but unfortunately, this is what happens when a governor abdicates his responsibility to keep the streets safe.”
After objecting to Watters’ description of the Blake shooting, liberal co-host Juan Williams said that Rittenhouse traveled from out of town to act like a “militia member,” prompting Watters to say that he “condemns” that before again offering up an excuse.
“Sadly, Juan, because of the situation, you’re going to have people come into communities and try to protect communities when the government doesn’t,” he said.
Elsewhere in the segment, co-host Greg Gutfeld lashed out at Williams, saying the “ship has sailed” for his co-host to express concern over two people getting murdered.
“I was here every day warning this would happen,” Gutfeld seethed, regarding the alleged vigilante killings. “I said that if something wasn’t done to quell the violence, you’re going to end up with people filling that void. There’s a danger when you put polls before people, which is what [CNN host] Don Lemon did.”
The right-wing host continued to rail against Williams, the program’s sole Black panelist, eventually telling him that he’d “lost the authority to comment” on the situation.
Originally published: 2020-08-26 17:22:22