Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade said Thursday that protesters who call for defunding or abolishing the police should lose access to 911, the phone line that connects Americans to emergency services.
Obviously, there’s no real way protesters could be identified and subsequently barred from the free service, nor is that constitutional, but in a segment dedicated to the “Future of policing in America,” per an on-air “Fox & Friends” graphic, Kilmeade suggested it anyway.
“You know what? You should be barred — anyone who says that, you are no longer allowed to 911. Let’s just hope in your life, you never need a police officer,” he declared after co-host Ainsley Earhardt reviewed some recent examples of protests against police brutality and overreach, highlighting instances of demonstrators saying they want police “out” of the area.
Co-host Pete Hegseth jumped in, adding, “All that’s gonna mean is less cops and more crime. The equation is quite, quite simple. Maybe that’s what they want…”
Calls to defund and reform the current system of American policing have risen in prominence and frequency over the past year, following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, two unarmed Black people who were killed by police in 2020 and whose stories galvanized the movement. Since then, numerous other cases have risen to national prominence, furthering the movement. Jacob Blake was left paralyzed after being shot by Wisconsin police late last summer, while more recently, a Minnesota officer resigned after shooting and killing Daunte Wright at a traffic stop when, her department said, she meant to reach for her taser instead. Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario recently sued two Virginia police officers who were seen on body camera footage pepper spraying and holding him at gunpoint during a traffic stop in December 2020.
Footage of that stop went viral earlier this month. In it, Nazario, who is Black and Latino, says, “I’m honestly afraid to get out.”
An officer replies, “Yeah, you should be.”
Watch Kilmeade’s statement, below: