Fox News host Juan Williams faced a flood of online criticism after opining that the Columbus, Ohio, police officer who shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant should have fired a “warning” shot instead of taking her life.
Williams made his comments Thursday while talking about the controversial shooting on Fox News’ “The Five.”
He was challenged by co-host Jesse Watters to explain what the police officer could have done to diffuse the situation without using lethal force.
“I guess I would shoot the gun, not necessarily at somebody, but maybe shoot the gun and maybe, you know, run at the person and try to disarm them, I don’t know,” Williams said.
“So wait wait, you would shoot the gun in the air like a warning shot?” asked Watters.
“Well, hopefully to distract her and try to stall or something so I could get — or my partner could get the knife away,” Williams said. “I don’t know, taking someone’s life is pretty strong.”
“I don’t know if that would work,” Watters replied.
“I don’t either, I don’t either, Jesse!” Williams admitted.
“I think that that woman with a knife is a danger to society, and certainly a danger to the other person, and we want her to stop and be disarmed,” Williams explained. “I just also think that killing a human is pretty radical. I don’t think that’s a good thing.”
Many viewers took to Twitter to criticize Williams for his unrealistic solution.
“Idk who needs to know this, but warning shots are not safe in condensed neighborhoods.. Bullets don’t just disappear when fired,” replied one viewer.
“These dim bulbs failed physics, gun safety and Research101 into weapons discharge by any LEO,” replied talk show host David Webb.
“It appears that Juan’s been watching too many Bonanza, Big Valley, and Gunsmoke reruns on MeTV,” joked another critic.
Williams went on to say that people are using the “messy” case in Ohio in order to change the subject from the guilty verdict handed down in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.
The death of Bryant was immediately taken up by protesters and activists after her family claimed that she had called the police and was killed when the first officer arrived. The controversial case took a turn when police released footage from the officer’s bodycam that appeared to show Bryant charging to stab another girl when she was shot.
Here’s the video of Williams’ comments:
LUNACY: Juan Williams claims that the Columbus police officer should have fired his gun into the air or a bullet of… https://t.co/Pv4IS0jaaj
— Curtis Houck (@Curtis Houck)1619125607.0