A leader with the St. Paul, Minn. chapter of Black Lives Matter is defending the group’s use of the anti-cop chant during a protest over the weekend, saying that “it was more playful than anything.”
Video of the protesters chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” while marching behind a row of cops at the Minnesota state fair went viral on Saturday, just hours after Texas sheriff’s deputy Darren Goforth was ambushed and executed while pumping gas. (RELATED: Black Lives Matter Protesters Chant ‘Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon)
But Trahern Crews is downplaying the chant. In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Tuesday, the Black Lives Matter leader and St. Paul city council candidate said that chant wasn’t violent or anti-cop.
“I want to put that chant in context,” said Crews.
“[The demonstration] was so exciting that I think the police who were along escorting the march…wanted to be a part of the march,” he said.
He said that an officer riding on the highway in front of the large group of demonstrators “was laughing and joking with the marchers.”
“So then the marchers kind of started chanting that towards him,” Crews said. “It was more playful than anything.”
“So that was — you’re saying, that was in a playful context, that chant?” Hayes asked.
“At that particular demonstration, yes,” Crews responded.
Crews further defended the chant, by pointing out that the cop riding in front of the activists replied “everybody loves bacon” after the crowd’s refrain.
If the officer riding in front of the activists thought the chant was a big joke, his brothers-in-arms did not. The president of the St. Paul Police Federation called the chant “disgusting.”
While Crews dismissed the idea that the “pigs” chant was violent, other Black Lives Matter leaders have complained about much tamer rhetoric.
One example is movement leader DeRay McKesson’s response to a tweet from conservative journalist (and former Daily Caller freelancer) Chuck C. Johnson. In May, Johnson tweeted to his followers that he was raising money to “taking out” McKesson.
Johnson said the tweet was metaphorical and that the tweet was in no way violent. But McKesson disputed the claim.
In an interview with CNN, he said that Johnson’s “words are his words.”
“‘Take out’ functions in a certain way,” McKesson continued. “And if I got on any media outlet and said something to the effect of ‘take out the police,’ nobody would think that I was talking about an exposé.”
McKesson, who lived in Minneapolis before becoming a full-time activist after the shooting of Michael Brown, was successful in getting Johnson permanently suspended from Twitter.