Watch: Don Lemon Completely Loses It Over Cops’ Comically Bad Blackface Disguise


CNN host Don Lemon delivered some serious commentary on recent blackface controversies, but couldn’t resist bursting into laughter at the unconvincing “disguises” that two police officers wore in a 1993 police yearbook.

On Tuesday night’s edition of CNN Tonight With Don Lemon, the host concluded the show with yet another blackface scandal, this one involving the resurfacing of a photo that shows two white Baton Rouge cops dressed in blackface for an undercover operation. The photo was from 1993, but was published in a 2007 police yearbook.

Lemon incredulously described the photo, which was captioned “Soul brothers,” as two cops “dressed in blackface for an undercover field operation. You heard that right.”

CNN dug up an article from 1993 that described the operation at the time.

“One of the officers in blackface boasted to the newspaper about his racist disguise,” Lemon said. “He said, ‘Not only do they not know we are cops, they don’t even know we are white’.”

“Yes,” Lemon said with a laugh, “there is no way anyone could have missed that these were in fact not black people.”

After a few more seconds of laughter, Lemon read an apology from the current Baton Rouge Police chief, and then got serious.

“This is the moral of the story, let’s talk about what will make a difference here, policy wise,” Lemon said. “The police chief should have apologized for the lack of diversity in the department back then. And that anyone would fathom putting white officers in blackface was a good idea, let alone a tool for law enforcement.”

“You know what would have been sufficient here? Black officers,” Lemon said, and noted that even after a consent decree to diversify, the Baton Rouge department “still does not reflect the city’s population. That’s the real issue here. Let’s learn from the past. Correct it in the future.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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