The sheriff investigating the Joe McKnight shooting went on an obscenity-laden tirade against his critics Tuesday, TMZ is reporting. Newell Normand also made liberal use of the N-word as well and even made some remarks that have been deemed racist.
At a Tuesday press conference, Normand spoke out against the criticism he and his office have received concerning their handling of their investigation into McKnight’s shooting. Normand read, word-for-word, several explicit tweets, Facebook posts, and other expressions of criticism he’s received. So explicit was Normand’s speech that, according to NBC News, MSNBC interrupted its live coverage because it contains words not appropriate for broadcast on basic cable.
You can watch Normand’s tirade below, but be warned: this video contains explicit language.
For those who would prefer not to watch the video, here are a few highlights.
- Normand begins by praising his officers for doing what was in the best interest of the community rather than what was in their own best interest.
- Following, Normand says it’s not fair for one of his officers to be called “punk-a** Uncle Tom c**n” and “rat-a** f****t punk.”
- Normand repeats another invective levied against one of his officers: “a**-kissing f****t that has done little to help our community.”
- Normand continues in this vein for several more minutes, making liberal use of the N-word and other obscenities and invectives.
Later in the press conference, Normand stated that in his community (New Orleans’ Jefferson Parish), black people are more likely to be killed by other black people.
Last Thursday, according to the Washington Post, former NFL player Joe McKnight was driving through the New Orleans suburb of Terrytown when he got into a road rage altercation with 54-year-old Ronald Gasser.
Investigators are still trying to get to the bottom of what happened, but based on what has been determined (or suspected) thus far, it appears that, for reasons that remain unclear, Gasser and McKnight began arguing with each other while both were driving (one theory holds that McKnight cut Gasser off). They continued trading words with one another as one pursued the other for several blocks, weaving in and out of traffic to keep up with each other, according to CBS News.
After blocks of following each other and exchanging insults, the two came to a stop light. McKnight then exited the vehicle he was driving and approached Gasser. What was said between the two men is unclear. What is clear is that Gasser shot McKnight three times, killing him.
Gasser was later arrested.
— NOLA.com (@NOLAnews) December 2, 2016
Why Is Normand’s Office Receiving So Much Criticism?
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Gasser was arrested at the scene and then released without charges hours later. The reason for that remains unclear, but the Picayune notes that Louisiana, like Florida, has a controversial “stand your ground law,” which allows someone to use deadly force if they are genuinely in fear for their life.
Gasser has since been re-booked and charged with manslaughter.
Critics contend that Gasser should have been held behind bars and charged with murder, and point to a possible racial component to the way the incident has been treated. McKnight was black; Gasser is white.
Normand maintains there is no racial component to this crime.
“This is not racial. What we had were two adult males engaged in unacceptable behavior who did not know how to deal in conflict resolution.”
To NBC Sports writer Mike Florio, Normand’s press conference suggests that someone else should handle the McKnight case moving forward.
“When a white man shoots a black man and the shooter initially goes free without explanation, there will definitely be a reaction from members of the public. But a sheriff should aspire to be above the fray, not to roll around in the middle of it. The reaction from Normand suggests that neither he nor his department are fit to run the investigation or handle the case.”
Do you believe the Joe McKnight shooting case has been mishandled?