Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera and former Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino clashed in a heated debate as tensions over the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta spilled over.
Rivera and Bongino discussed the latest protests and attacks against police officers during a “Hannity” segment on Fox News, and they locked horns in vehement disagreement as they focused on the death of Brooks on Friday when an Atlanta police officer shot and killed him after he grabbed a taser and took off running.
Bongino came to the defense of law enforcement as he talked by phone with Fox News host Sean Hannity, bringing up the Las Vegas officer who was shot during a protest and is now paralyzed from the neck down.
“Where are the protests and rallies in support of him? Are we losing all of this? Did we forget where we were? Did we forget how many of these people have gone out — police officers died in the line of duty, have come home injured, paralyzed for life?” the former New York City police officer said.
He acknowledged that the death of Brooks was a “tragedy” but asked Hannity, “what would you do in this scenario?”
“You had a subject who was pulled over and stopped for allegedly driving drunk. Are you going to let him take off in the car and potentially hurt someone?” he said, calling out critics who assume the officer knew it was the taser being pointed at him as Brooks ran off.
“It wasn’t his taser that was stolen, it was the other guy’s taser,” Bongino continued. “When someone turns to you in a furtive motion and sticks what looks like a weapon in your face from three to four feet away, I mean, what reasonable person wouldn’t respond to defend their own life? It’s simple question.”
Hannity asked for comments from Rivera, whom he noted has “always been a supporter of the police.”
The Fox News correspondent-at-large began by taking aim at Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck during an arrest, calling him out as a murderer, “he has set back community-police relations a generation.”
He placed all of the blame for rioting, protests and chaos descending on the country at Chauvin’s feet, saying he is “beneath contempt,” before going on to address Bongino’s comments.
“I feel sorry for the cops involved, but I feel a lot sorrier for the family of Mr. Brooks. And obviously for him who’s now dead,” he said.
“You never shoot a guy in the back. Now, you can hear on the tape the cop say, ‘He got my taser.’ So you’re not going to argue that he had some other weapon. He’s a drunk driver. He’s running away with the taser. Where is he going to run? How far is he going to run?” Rivera asked.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about!” Bongino interjected. “You have no idea what you’re talking about! You’ve never been a cop.”
“Stop with the personal attacks, Dan!” Rivera shot back. “Don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. I have eyes! I’m a citizen. I’ve been around.”
“You’ve never been engaged in a foot pursuit and your entire life. Don’t you dare be —,” Bongino argued as Rivera continued to speak.
“I have spent countless hours with cops,” Rivera insisted. “I know cops as well as you do.”
“You can no longer — when you get shot in the back, you get shot in the back. Where is he going to go, Dan?” he added as Bongino told him, “you’re full of crap and you know it!”
Bongino pointed out that Brooks “fled and pointed a stolen weapon in the face of a police officer” while Rivera countered that “you don’t get shot in the back for that.”
“By defending the indefensible, you make everything, all of your arguments., dull,” Rivera fired back, saying, “I love cops. I think they are distrusted, they feel dishonored, they feel disrespected. They feel over criticized, undervalued.”
“It was a legally, although tragic use of force,” Bongino argued.
“You have no idea what you’re talking about. And the only person to humiliate himself during this interview is you, pretending you have any idea what you’re talking about.”
“A jury will be called. A jury, a criminal court,” Rivera added as Hannity informed the men that he had to “break it up.”