Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell and Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera had a heated debate when they locked horns over the shooting of Jacob Blake and the “disingenuous” pro-athletes staging boycotts to protest.
A discussion on “Bill Hemmer Reports” over the decision this week by NBA players to protest the police shooting of Blake in Wisconsin quickly went off the rails as Terrell and Rivera sparred over the boycotts as related to racism and law enforcement as well as the shooting incident itself.
“The video of Jacob Blake getting shot in the back seven times by the cop at point-blank range, that was something that every black man in this country I fear related to,” Rivera began on Thursday.
“Those players looked at that and said, what happens when I drive home from a game and I see the blue lights behind me… and the cop comes up to me, and what if he’s in a bad mood, had bad training, and he thinks, I’m reaching for my license, I’m reaching for something else and I get shot also?” the Fox News correspondent-at-large added.
Rivera said that there is a “fragility” about the sports figures deciding to speak out. Teams in the NBA’s Orlando bubble remained in their locker rooms to protest the shooting of Blake, a black man who was shot by a Kenosha police officer multiple times on Sunday.
“These players are not being spoiled brats, they are responding in a visceral way. Almost everybody wants social justice, absolutely everybody wants law and order. The response of the rioters and the looters to the shooting is one thing, but what LeBron James and Doc Rivers, the Clippers coach, this pain that they are expressing, that’s for real and we’ve got to deal with that. The president should address it,” Rivera said.
Terrell could be seen shaking his head in disagreement at Rivera’s remarks as Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer turned to get his view on whether it would be a productive “means to an end” for the NBA to cancel its playoffs as a show of solidarity with the protests.
“First of all Geraldo, respectfully, every black man doesn’t feel like they’re being chased by the police,” Terrell said in rebuttal to Rivera. “Tim Scott, Senator from South Carolina, 18 stops by police. This man does not look at the police officers as bogeyman. I think it would be wrong — ”
“He got stopped 18 times by the cops, Leo?” Rivera interrupted.
“He got stopped over 18 times. Sen. Tim Scott he’s been stopped numerous times, Geraldo,” Terrell replied, reiterating the comments by GOP senator at the RNC on Monday when he said he still respects police even though he has been stopped by them 18 times in 20 years.
“That’s my point!” Rivera exclaimed as he threw his arms in the air.
“No, you’re missing the point,” Terrell shot back.
“Black people do not have a racial animus towards police officers. Why, because they are black police officers, there’s white, there’s brown, there’s yellow. Geraldo, this is not 1950. These black players, Bill and Geraldo, are rich multimillionaires who are surrounded by private police protection,” he contended.
“I find it disingenuous for them to make a determination about this situation before all the facts are in,” Terrell said. “This is not George Floyd. They use it as a pretext.”
“Did you see the video? The guy got shot seven times in the back,” Rivera angrily retorted. “Come on!”
“I saw the video,” Terrell responded. “I’ve been doing police misconduct for years. You wait until all the facts are in. Shame on you, you’re a lawyer.”
“When you’re reacting viscerally, when you’re reacting viscerally, you’re not waiting for the grand jury, you see what you see,” Rivera interjected as Terrell disagreed.
“We are a nation of laws!” Terrell repeated as Rivera argued, “We’re not a nation of rogue cops!”
Hemmer finally interrupted to bring the fiery clash to an end, going on to discuss rioting in Wisconsin this week and the responses from Democrats.