Last summer in Minnesota, the murder of George Floyd by Officer Derek Chauvin sparked nationwide protests against racist police brutality and heightened even more the urgency of the United States' centuries-long reckoning with the way it treats its non-white inhabitants.
Earlier this month in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota—only miles away from where Chauvin's trial is occurring—Daunte Wright, a 20 year old father, was murdered by Officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop. Potter, who resigned and has since been charged with second degree manslaughter—claims she mistook her gun for her taser.
Wright's murder was met with widespread outcry and, like Floyd's death, prompted protests across the nation, calling for an end to police brutality and for an overhaul of the current system of law enforcement.
On his show, infamously conservative televangelist Pat Robertson reacted to the news.
To everyone's surprise, even Robertson called on police to make improvements and railed against the officers who committed the murders.
When the police are starting to lose the approval of Pat Robertson, you know things are bad. https://t.co/Pu7tw6aoDC— Zachary Petrizzo (@Zachary Petrizzo)1618502832.0
After demonstrating the absurdity of confusing a taser for a firearm, Robertson said:
"You know, I am pro-police, folks. I think we need the police, we need their service, and they do a good job, but if they don't stop this onslaught, they cannot do this."
He proceeded to comment on Chauvin's trial, which is in its third week.
"And the thing that's going on in Minnesota about that Derek Chauvin — I mean, they ought to put him under the jail, he has caused so much trouble by kneeling on the death of George Floyd, I mean on his neck — it's just terrible what's happening."
His diatribe caught people off guard.
Who had “Woke Pat Robertson” on their 2021 bingo card? https://t.co/nCYlQsma3O— W. Kamau Bell (@W. Kamau Bell)1618506310.0
Hell done froze over. https://t.co/0XBqLSvU0N— Morgan Jerkins (@Morgan Jerkins)1618509884.0
This is actually a big deal. Pat Robertson has tremendous influence. https://t.co/hxY6ygMtYe— Marianne Williamson (@Marianne Williamson)1618518169.0
Never in my life did I think I’ll ever share a video of Pat Robertson, yet here we are. https://t.co/xthSkf9u3t— Dolores Franco (@Dolores Franco)1618509872.0
THEY LOST PAT ROBERTSON?? I have to go buy a lottery ticket. ANYTHING could happen today. https://t.co/HZ9vNDn4EO— Jane Esq. (@Jane Esq.)1618504562.0
Are we in an alternate universe? https://t.co/XwHh350OOy— chris evans (@chris evans)1618516103.0
Others encouraged more scrutiny of Robertson's comments.
Folks are more impressed by Pat Robertson than I am 🤷🏾♀️ I don’t see someone condemning racism, I see someone cond… https://t.co/rbZCcV8zzn— DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE (@DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE)1618514110.0
Pat Robertson making a late move for the escalator up. https://t.co/F6wAnzAx8i— Franklin Leonard (@Franklin Leonard)1618513872.0
What Pat Robertson did wasn't woke.... It was base level humanity. I can be surprised and not impressed. https://t.co/IAJwJw1npU— Geno Young (@Geno Young)1618533665.0
Shortly after Robertson's comments, Chicago police released bodycam footage of the murder of 13 year old Adam Toledo, who was killed by the police with his hands up.