Tucker Carlson claimed Monday that “affirmative action” hiring decisions made by the Memphis Police Department contributed to the death of Tyre Nichols, who was beaten by several officers earlier this month.
Of the five officers who were fired and charged with murder, two were hired by the department after the social justice protests spurred by the death of George Floyd in May 2020—a fact that the Fox News host cited to try to make his case.
Carlson called the two officers, Demetrius Haley and Tadarrius Bean, “affirmative action hires” who had been brought onto the force under “lax, diversity-driven standards.”
“Instead of admitting that it’s true, the media are diverting attention from that fact by accusing the five officers, who are all black, of somehow being white supremacists,” Carlson claimed before showing news clips of commentators and journalists discussing the issue.
According to the Fox host, the protests in the summer of 2020 “were never about George Floyd.”
“They were about changing the country forever. The first step, of course, was defunding police departments across the country and forcing them to lower their standards to attract unqualified applicants — hiring offers based on skin color rather than integrity or skill or self-control. All in the name of equity,” Carlson said. “Does that result in better policing? Well, what happened in Memphis a few weeks ago is one indicator.”
The Memphis Police Department nixed a requirement that candidates have an associate’s degree or 54 college credit hours, but that was in 2018, Action 5 News reported at the time.