Piers Morgan has had a fiery debate with the lawyer defending one of the police officers accused of killing George Floyd.
Earl Gray, the defence lawyer for former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane, appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday, and immediately infuriated host Morgan when he said he had “no opinion” on the charges levelled at co-accused Derek Chauvin.
Chauvin, who was filmed kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for eight minutes 46 seconds, has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter over the killing of Floyd. Mr Gray’s client, Lane, has been charged with aiding and abetting the killing and second-degree manslaughter.
The 10-minute interview quickly spiralled into a heated and personal argument with Mr Gray calling Morgan and his co-host Susanna Reid “biased” and Morgan repeatedly telling Mr Gray he was a “disgrace”. Morgan closed out the interview saying Mr Gray “shouldn’t be practising law” and called it the worst interview he’d seen “probably in my entire career”. This happened after Mr Gray had slammed his laptop and said he was “going to bed”.
Mr Gray defended his client’s actions, saying Lane had only been a police officer for four days and Chauvin, his superior, had been an officer for 20 years. “A police officer is run like a military service,” he said.
But Morgan and Mr Gray began arguing, when Morgan insisted Lane should have intervened and stopped Chauvin from leaning on Floyd’s neck and choking him to death.
“You know what I would have done? I would have got up and I would have said, ‘I’m sorry but this guy is dying in front of us and I’m not going to be a party to it,’” Morgan said.
“That’s what a humane reaction would be.”
“That’s a very good hindsight but you’re not a police officer,” Mr Gray fired back.
The pair then got into a heated debate, with Morgan repeatedly pointing out Floyd had screamed “I can’t breathe” 16 times before he lost consciousness. Morgan also said the officers held Floyd on the ground for almost three minutes after he lost consciousness.
“Your client, whose job is to protect people, why didn’t your client protect George Floyd?” Morgan pushed.
Mr Gray fired back, calling Morgan “wrong” and “opinionated”.
“Your performance here merely tells the world how disgusting even the people representing these officers are,” Morgan said.
Mr Gray eventually slammed down his laptop and said Morgan was “talking bad” about his client.
Morgan said it was “probably one of the most disgraceful interviews” he’d ever seen with a lawyer “probably in my entire career”.