MSNBC apologized Tuesday for Jefferson Parish, LA Sheriff Newell Normand’s use of offensive language during a news conference to announce the arrest of the motorist who shot and killed Joe McKnight.
Ronald Gasser, 54, was arrested and jailed on a manslaughter charge on Tuesday in connection with the shooting death of the former NFL running back. Gasser was released on bond.
McKnight, 28, was shot and killed by Gasser during a road rage incident in Terrytown, LA, near New Orleans on Dec. 1.
Gasser claimed he was standing his ground when he fired his weapon while seated in the driver’s side of his car. McKnight was struck multiple times and died on the ground between the two cars.
The gunman was originally taken into custody on Thursday. But he was later released with no charges, prompting a furious public backlash against the sheriff’s department and elected officials.
Normand expressed disappointment in the citizens of Louisiana and around the country for not letting justice take its course.
“Unfortunately, a life was lost, but you want to know something, folks? Two people engaged in bad behavior that day,” he said.
Normand apologized to black elected officials whom he says stood by him after he let Gasser walk free last week.
“You are true leaders, you are credible leaders. You did not do what was in your best interest. You did what was in the best interest of the community and you’re suffering for it and I feel bad for you,” he said, addressing the politicians.
Normand then read out loud some of the vitriol he claims black elected officials and sheriff’s personnel received from concerned citizens.
”’You punk ass Uncle Tom coon, we saw you sell out to them, you rat ass f*ggot punk,'” said Normand, quoting one citizen.
MSNBC Anchor Tamron Hall abruptly cut away from Normand’s news conference to protect her viewers’ sensibilities.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to pivot from this, what has been… first of all, let me apologize for some of the language we were not expecting,” said Hall. “That is the sheriff from Jefferson Parish who used several, what he said were quotes directed at sheriffs in his department, slurs, racial slurs and homophobic remarks that, we quite honestly did not expect from the sheriff of a police department.”
Many viewers took to social media to complain bitterly about the interruption. “I find the censoring by MSNBC more offensive than anything the sheriff said,” wrote one Breitbart.com reader on Tuesday.
CAUTION: the videos below contain foul language which may be offensive to some viewers.