Gayle King tears up over videos targeting Black men: ‘It’s open season’

Morning correspondent Vladimir Duthiers echoes her pain, noting that white America has a long history of abusing Black men

Editor-at-Large for O Magazine and Co-Anchor at CBS This Morning Gayle King speaks onstage during the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit – Day 2 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

In back-to-back reporting of crimes perpetrated against Black men, veteran journalist Gayle King became moved to tears. 

“Once again, I say thank goodness that there’s videotape. As the daughter of a Black man and the mother of a Black man, this is really too much for me today,” King said.

READ MORE: George Floyd dies after saying he can’t breathe with cop’s knee on his neck

The first story that CBS This Morning ran was about the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a city police officer. The segment focused on the disturbing footage of Floyd, an unarmed Black man, as he was being pinned under the knee of a white officer. Floyd can be heard in the video pleading, “I can’t breathe.” 

After the segment, King brought up that the words became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement after the police killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY. 

As the morning show progressed, they aired another segment about an incident in New York’s Central Park between a Black man and a white woman. The white woman, identified as Amy Cooper, threatened to weaponize the police against Christian Cooper because he asked her to abide by the law and leash her dog.  

“She’s practically strangling her dog, strangling her dog to make these false accusations against another Black man.” King continues, “I’m still so upset by that last story where the man is handcuffed underneath a car where people are pleading that he can’t breathe, and we are watching a man die.”

“This story where she falsely accuses a Black man on television. I don’t even know what to do or how to handle this at this time. I am speechless. I am really speechless by what we are seeing on television this morning. It feels like it’s open season and there’s just not a safe place to be as a Black man in this country. And today it’s too much for me.”

CBS This Morning cast theGrio.com

Gayle King, Anthony Mason, and Tony Dokoupil of CBS This Morning

READ MORE: Amy Cooper apologizes for calling cops on Black man to make false claim

As King’s voice cracks with words dripping of helplessness and disgust, she turns it over to her two co-hosts.

Co-host Tony Dokoupil closed the segment attempting to shift the narrative of the story by pointing out that birdwatchers are extremely sensitive to these important laws that are set up to protect the birds. He said, “So it wasn’t a minor thing.” In the background, you can hear King say, “No.”

Co-host Anthony Mason backed up this editorial direction by mentioning in his remarks how familiar he is with The Ramble. He notes that there was a time when it was particularly dangerous, and then follows up that the location is now “a haven for birdwatchers” and punctuating that “there is a reason the law is there … to protect the birds.”

This is when he winds up the segment to go to a commercial, but not before a visibly-shaken King interrupts him to say, “I say again thank goodness that there is videotape on both of these stories, so you can see what is happening here.”

The morning correspondent Vladimir Duthiers, who brought the story to everyone’s attention, added to King’s statements. “Gayle, to the point that all of you are making, this is not the first time. We’ve talked about Emmett Till, the Scottsboro Boys, the Trenton Six, Lena Baker, Central Park Five … it happens in history over and over again … and now we have video.”

READ MORE: Decades after his murder, House finally passes Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Bill

While Duthier runs down the names of Black people falsely accused by white people who either lost their lives or were in danger of losing their lives, Mason is peppering his comments to direct to the commercial.

King has two children, a daughter Kirby Bumpus, 34, and William Bumpus, Jr., who is 33 years old. 

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