Conservative radio host Michael Berry said Monday that the black teens who were confronted by police last week at a pool party in McKinney, Texas acted like “jungle animals.”
Berry, host of the “The Michael Berry Show” on KTRH in Houston, made his comments while discussing the Friday pool party where a white police officer drew his gun on several black teens and slammed a 14-year-old girl in a bikini to the ground.
Berry, who is white, said the alleged confrontation made for great news and stirred “the black pastor” and members of the community.
“You’ve got a ready-made crowd of people who don’t have day jobs that are ready to storm the streets and threaten the cops,” Berry said. “Let me suggest that for the people who end up getting in fights with the cops: Shut your mouth!”
Berry commended police who rush into dangerous situations with “screaming” teens.
“Let me ask you, how many among you would put on a badge and a police uniform today?” Berry said. “How many of you would put on a badge, police uniform and be the first to respond — by yourself — to a crowd of teenagers, amped up — watch ‘em! Man, they’re screaming! ‘Get outta here! Who are you?! You don’t know what you! You go! You get! Who are you?! You can’t do that! No man, we gon’ get you! You bet — !’ I mean you’re talking about like jungle animals. I mean this is wild, crazy, out of control.”
Berry said white people had probably been the ones to call the police at the pool party.
“Yes, they’re probably white people, scared to death, peeking through the blinds, ‘Oh my God! There’s a bunch of black people and they’re out on the streets and they’re fightin’ and carryin’ on and they’re playing that music from Jay-Z,” Berry said. “They’re scared to death! That’s who his bosses are. He’s there to keep the peace in his community.”
Berry then doled out “a little bit of advice to those punks.”
“When the cops show up they’re outnumbered,” Berry said. “They have to take control of the situation. The best thing you can do is get down, keep your mouth shut, and let order get restored first. Just comply. For that moment, just comply.”
According to the hosts of the pool party, police arrived at the community pool after white pool-goers confronted some of the black teenagers who were attending the pool party. Two white women at the pool allegedly shouted racial slurs at the black teens and one of the women reportedly struck one of the teens in the face. The party was reportedly meant to be a celebration of the end of the school year.
The police officer caught on video has been placed on administrative leave and black McKinney residents have called for his resignation.
Listen to the audio below, from Media Matters:
Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.