Evangelical leader Pat Robertson said Thursday that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, should be put “under the jail.”
Robertson, 91, made the comment during an appearance on “The 700 Club,” where he decried what he called an “onslaught” of police violence following the recent fatal shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn.
“I am pro-police, folks. I think we need the police, we need their service and they do a good job. But … they cannot do this,” Robertson asserted. “Derek Chauvin, I mean, they oughta put him under the jail. He has caused so much trouble by kneeling on the [neck] of George Floyd … it’s just terrible what’s happening. And the police, why don’t they open their eyes to what the public relations are? We’ve got to stop this stuff.”
The Christian Broadcasting Network founder later rejected former Brooklyn Center police Chief Tim Gannon’s claim that officer Kim Potter had meant to reach for her Taser when she mistakenly grabbed her revolver and fatally shot Wright.
In an eyebrow-raising on-air moment, Robertson proceeded to take out what appeared to be a fake handgun and Taser, noting the difference in color, grip and weight between the two weapons.
“There’s no comparison,” he argued.
Robertson suggested recruiting a “superior” workforce to prevent future police shootings.
“We don’t have the finest in the police department,” he said.
“We need police. We need them and we need to honor them and I’m all for it,” he continued. “But at the same time, we cannot have a bunch of clowns running around who are underpaid and who really are not the best and brightest. We’ve got to have the best in there.”
Chauvin opted not to testify in his defense Thursday, citing his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. He is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Closing arguments in the trial are set for Monday.
Potter has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in Wright’s death.