Juan Williams said Thursday that he might have fired a warning shot before approaching Ma’Khia Bryant as she attempted to stab another girl with a knife.
Williams made the comments on Fox News’ “The Five,” saying that he understood law enforcement was a tough job but that killing a person was a “pretty radical” response. (RELATED: Juan Williams Defends Georgia/Jim Crow Comparisons: ‘White Citizens Want To Take Control Of Elections And Determine Outcomes’)
“All right, first of all, it’s not a knife fight when only one person has a knife, that’s a butcher shop,” co-host Jesse Watters began, asking Williams what he might do if he were the officer in a similar situation.
“You see mayhem, there’s a guy that’s kicking a girl down to the ground and another woman lunging at a defenseless woman like this with a sharp blade, you have seconds to react. She doesn’t put the knife down when you warn her,” Watters said. “What does Juan Williams, Officer Juan Williams do to save the lady’s life in pink?”
“I guess I would shoot the gun, not necessarily at somebody, but maybe shoot the gun and maybe run at the person and try to disarm them, like I don’t know,” Williams replied.
“So wait, wait, wait. You would shoot the gun in the air like a warning shot?” Watters pushed back.
“Ah, well, hopefully to distract her and tried to stall or something so I could get — or my partner could get the knife away,” Williams continued. “Policing is tough work. But all I’m saying is, you know, 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. I just also think killing a human is pretty radical. I don’t think that’s a good thing.”
Williams went on to argue that the focus on Bryant’s case could distract from the real issues with policing and race in America. He said that those issues were finally at the forefront after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges over his role in the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
“Really, there is a problem with policing, that what black people have been saying about police brutality and abuse and lack of accountability for police to engage in that kind of behavior is a real problem in America,” Williams said. “So I think a lot of people want to change that conversation by looking at this case where it’s not clear who is in the right and wrong. All that we know with some certainty that deadly force had to be used. A lot of people are saying, gosh, why do we have to do that every time?”
Watters said he wasn’t sure that people were trying to change the conversation so much as reacting to a media narrative that was not telling anyone the whole story.
“This conversation was thrust upon us by really disgusting headlines that made it look like this was a racial execution,” Watters said. “And NBC actually got caught deceptively editing the video to make it look like the girl didn’t have a knife, and they edited the 911 call. Again, we are back to cleaning up another racially charged story that has been foisted upon us to divide us.”