Fox News contributors Dan Bongino and Geraldo Rivera blasted away at each other on Monday during a discussion of the police-involved shooting death of a 20-year-old suspect near Minneapolis, with the former appearing to get the better of it.
In a joint appearance with host Sean Hannity, both discussed the death of Daunte Wright allegedly at the hands of Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter, who seemed to mistake her Taser with her sidearm when she fired a single shot at him as he struggled to escape.
Rivera, a lawyer who, presumably, understands the American legal concepts of ‘presumed innocence’ and due process, called the shooting by a white officer an “act of grotesque negligence” while going on to suggest that the incident has racial undertones.
“There’s a situation in this country now where, I swear to God and I’m speaking from deep experience, too many black mothers are more fearful of the police than they are of the crooks when their sons go out,” he said.
“I get policing, some of my best friends are cops,” he said, noting that he went to law school with a few of them. “But you must admit there is a gulf between how a white family reacts and how a black family reacts.”
That set off Bongino.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 13, 2021
The former NYPD officer and Secret Service agent conceded that while Rivera, having never actually been a cop, was nevertheless entitled to comment on policing, while going on to say, “I always hate when liberals say that about us.”
“I’m not a liberal,” Rivera interjected, leading Bongino to respond, “I’m not suggesting you are, I’m just saying you don’t understand policing…”
“Don’t start minimizing my experience!” Rivera demanded.
“Geraldo, can you shut up for two seconds?” Bongino snapped back in a raised voice.
“I’m a half-a-century at this,” Rivera responded loudly, temper flaring.
“I’m tired of this guy!” Bongino said as Hannity attempted to regain control of the conversation. “He never shuts up!”
Returning to his original point, Bongino noted again that Rivera was “entitled to his opinion” but not “a certain set of facts.”
“You don’t know anything about actual policing if you haven’t done it. Saying or suggesting…you can relate to the experience of police officers, you can’t,” Bongino railed.
“I’m not suggesting what happened yesterday wasn’t a tragedy. It was, obviously. There’s a dead young man whose never going to take another breath of oxygen again in his life,” he added.
But “injecting race into this Geraldo, which you do on these police issues constantly, when you have none of the data, you have no evidence whatsoever there’s a racial component to this at all,” Bongino said.
“Don’t you have an argument to make that doesn’t concern me?” Rivera interrupted.
“I’m not making you the issue, I’m responding to your dopey comment,” Bongino shot back. “You have no idea that there’s a racial undertone to this at all.”
“Oh really? I have no idea there’s a racial undertone? Twenty-year-old black kid?” Rivera interjected.
Bongino countered by accusing Rivera of “further inflaming the situation.”
“The country will burn to the ground because of people like you who say dumb things like that with no evidence to back it up,” the conservative talk radio host and bestselling author added.