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CNN Panel Explodes Over Claim That ‘Black People Are Prone to Criminality’

CNN’s New Day on Monday morning was barely five minutes into it’s 6 a.m. ET broadcast when a panel discussion on race and law enforcement peaked into a shouting match.

As CNN’s Chris Cuomo attempted his best to play referee between retired NYPD Detective Harry Houck and CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill, the conversation was shaped by two very different perspectives. While Hill, a Morehouse College professor, argued on behalf of the systemic racism that largely exists targeting black communities, Houck brought with him sobering statistics on black crime in the city of New York.

“Facts have gotta matter,” said Houck. “The police have already recognized the fact that we’ve got issues that we need to deal with. Now the black community has to also know that they have issues they need to deal with. This isn’t a one-way street here.” He then proceeded to present the following numbers:

“In New York City alone, blacks are 23% [of the population]; they make up 75% of all shootings, 70% of all robberies, 60% of all violent crimes. White only 3%. That is why there are more blacks in jail than there are whites.”

While Hill decried, “a system that’s dysfunctional,” and called for civilian review boards that put the power into the hands of the people rather than other members of law enforcement, the exchange blew up at the inference of black criminality.

“You think black people are prone to criminality!? You didn’t mean to say that. I’m gonna give you a chance to correct yourself!” Hill shot back indignantly.

“What does this say?!” Houck yelled, referencing his statistics.

“Harry, Googling some numbers is different than talking to me!” Hill yelled as the shouting match continued to evolve.

Houck at one point doubled down on the source of his statistics, a point that Hill met with equal parts shock and sarcasm:

HOUCK: “These are NYPD numbers!”
HILL: “Oh, well they must be true!”

Former NYPD Chief Philip Banks, to his credit, largely waited out the storm that has erupted inches to his right, opting for a more middle ground. “It doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of good cops. It doesn’t mean that law enforcement doesn’t serve communities through. It means that changes have to be made, talks need to be stopped, and action needs to take place.”

Watch the above explosion from CNN’s New Day.

J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
[image via screengrab]

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