Fox News ran an onscreen banner during Monday night's episode of "Fox & Friends" referring to the Black Lives Matter movement as a "murder movement," and one Fox host wondered why the movement wasn't labeled a hate group.
"Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade was speaking with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke about the death of Deputy Darren Goforth of Harris County, Texas, who was fatally shot while pumping gas in a Houston suburb on Friday night. Goforth was white, and the man who police believe killed him, Shannon Miles, is black.
There is no evidence that Miles has any connection to the Black Lives Matter movement, but the "Fox & Friends" segment made a point to strongly imply that Black Lives Matter was at fault for Goforth’s death.
An onscreen banner during the segment read "Murder Movement" above a subhead that said, "Sheriff: #BlackLivesMatter Is Out Of Control." Clarke told Kilmeade on the show that he's "sick and tired" of seeing headlines emphasizing the race of white officers shooting unarmed black people. The headline he’d like to see is "Black Man Shoots White Defenseless Police Officer," Clarke said.
“President Obama has breathed life into an ugly movement … we now have to counter this slime. This filth coming out of these cop-haters,” Clarke said as Fox showed footage of Black Lives Matter protesters.
Clarke, a frequent guest on Fox News, is regularly critical of Black Lives Matter. He's bashed the movement for not protesting black-on-black crime, and told Fox News host Megyn Kelly that he would have been embarrassed of Sandra Bland if she had been his daughter.
He's also not the first person to associate Goforth’s killing with the Black Lives Matter movement. Speaking in a news conference on Saturday, Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman made similar remarks about the movement.
“When the rhetoric ramps up to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassinations of police officers happen, this rhetoric has gotten out of control,” Hickman said. “We’ve heard 'black lives matter.' All lives matter. Well, cops’ lives matter, too.”
However, he offered no proof to support his theory that the movement and the killing are linked.
Prosecutors have not suggested a motive for the deadly attack on Goforth, who was killed as he filled up his patrol car gas tank on Friday night. Miles, 30, allegedly came up from behind Goforth and shot him in the head. He then continued to fire at Goforth while standing over him in a "cold-blooded assassination," Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said in court on Monday.
When asked by reporters if tensions between the community and law enforcement could have played a role in the killing, Anderson said, "I have no idea whether it does or not."
Miles has a criminal history and was also declared mentally incompetent in 2012, when the Travis County District Attorney's Office charged him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly got into a fight over a remote control at a homeless shelter.
Black Lives Matter leader DeRay Mckesson condemned those who jumped to conclusions about the shooting in a tweet on Saturday. Mckesson decried those who had decided to “politicize this tragedy.”
Meanwhile, a slew of other Fox News reporters and pundits have also accused Black Lives Matter of being dangerous.
In a different segment of “Fox & Friends,” which can be viewed below, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked conservative writer Kevin Jackson, "Why has the Black Lives Matter movement not been classified yet as a hate group? How much more has to go in this direction before someone actually labels it as such?”
Jackson responded by saying, "Well, they should do it, but unfortunately, it's being financed by the leftists."
A Fox spokeswoman later referred The Huffington Post to the following tweet, which Hasselbeck reportedly wrote as a response to the controversy surrounding her "hate group" comment:
Also on Monday, comedian Tom Shillue called Black Lives Matter a “criminal organization" during his appearance on Fox talk show "The Five." Later that night, on the "O’Reilly Factor," Bill O’Reilly called the movement a “hate group” and declared he was “going to put them out of business.”
This story has been updated to include a tweet from Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU? Subscribe, choose the community that you most identify with or want to learn more about and we’ll send you the news that matters most once a week throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Learn more