Gayle King broke down in tears as she spoke on The Talk about George Floyd‘s death, and her fears about what could happen to her own son. The CBS This Morning host, 65, is worried about the repercussions of her 33-year-old, Will Bumpus Jr., doing things as innocuous as walking his dog and being killed because of the color of his skin. “I’m worried about him, saying, ‘Will, please don’t walk Scott [his dog], please don’t take him for long walks, everything is so volatile’… He lives in the Santa Monica area, so he can hear the police choppers and he can hear the sounds of the city. And Santa Monica, as you know, is a very affluent town… but I’m worried about him walking his frickin’ dog… I worry for him being a black man, period.”
King’s candid comments come amid the nationwide protests against police brutality, following the May 25 killing of Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nine minutes as he gasped for air. The four police officers involved in Floyd’s death have now been fired, arrested, and charged with a litany of crimes — all after protesters in all 50 states demanded justice. The Black Lives Matter demonstrations have seen peaceful protesters clash with police in riot gear, armed with tear gas, flash bombs, and rubber bullets.
” I worry a lot about [Will’s] safety,” King told The Talk cohosts. “Welcome to being black in America. This is not new. This is another thing that I think is so interesting, how white people are processing this and black people are processing it. You know, because it is black and white, but it should be a human issue, this is about humanity.”
King was overwhelmed with emotion as she spoke about Floyd’s death, recalling covering the racist “Central Park Karen” incident that went viral the same day. “At the time we didn’t even know his name. We couldn’t even give him the dignity of his name. He was just a black man underneath the car. All we had seen was the knee on this neck and that was hard enough to see,” she said.
“So, you go from that story to a block later, the Central Park woman who called police about an African-American man who we all saw was not threatening her or her dog. When you think about it, that man, the bird watcher, could have been George Floyd.”