Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Sunday warned that protests in Baltimore over police involvement in the death of Freddie Gray were a "threat to civilization itself."
What had been largely been peaceful protests briefly turned violent on Saturday night as several protesters were seen smashing the windshields of police cars in Baltimore.
Former Washington D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler told Carlson that police decided to take a different approach than law enforcement had during the protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
"There was no indication of any military-type uniforms or equipment, no armored cars, anything like that," Wheeler explained. "The police really stayed back."
"You can't have that," Carlson insisted. "That's like chaos, that's Third World stuff. You can't have people smashing police cars. Why wouldn't someone fire a shotgun in the air and say knock it off?"
"That wouldn't have been the appropriate thing to do," Wheeler replied. "I think what we have learned over the past few years, Tucker, with these types of demonstrations is that when the police become more aggressive then we see the crowd tends to become more aggressive. So, what we tend to do is kind of just keep them within a certain area, confined within a certain area, and let them do the things that they want to do. But when they really start to become destructive, then we start moving in."
Even though two police cars were damaged on Saturday, Wheeler said that "for the most part, it wasn't that bad."
But Wheeler's assurances did little to comfort Carlson, who later argued that the entire country was being held hostage by the protesters "as we watch the bonds of civilization fray."
"Because that's what this is, the end of civil order," he asserted. "This is not a civil rights act, it's a threat to civilization itself."