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CNN's Don Lemon brings up 'race' of 'five black officers' charged with murdering black man; Memphis police chief replies that 'race' isn't reason for bad policing
Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @CNNThisMorning

CNN's Don Lemon brings up 'race' of 'five black officers' charged with murdering black man; Memphis police chief replies that 'race' isn't reason for bad policing

CNN's Don Lemon in an interview Friday with Memphis' police chief brought up the "race" of the "five black officers" charged with murdering Tyre Nichols, a black man, during a traffic stop earlier this month "in a black community."

Lemon said, "Five black officers, a black police chief in a black community — what do you make of the race of the officers and what that says to the community and to the country about the policing, the care —"

Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis replied to Lemon that "race" isn't the reason for policing problems.

"It takes off the table that issues and problems in law enforcement is about race, and it is not," she responded. "It's about human dignity, integrity, accountability, and the duty to protect our community. And as this video will show you, it doesn't matter who's wearing the uniform, that we all have that same responsibility. So, it takes race off the table, but it does indicate to me that bias might be a factor also in the manner in which we engage the community."

What's the background?

Nichols, 29, was hospitalized after being pulled over Jan. 7 for reckless driving and died from his injuries three days later. The five officers involved were fired for violating department policies after an internal investigation and arrested and booked into jail. Each officer was charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, and official oppression.

Davis also told Lemon that in the video of the traffic stop due to be released to the public Friday evening, “You’re going to see a disregard for life, duty of care that we’re all sworn to and a level of physical interaction that is above and beyond what is required in law enforcement," CNN reported.

"I heard him call out for his mother, for his mom,” Davis also said, according to CNN. “Just the disregard for humanity … That’s what really pulls at your heartstrings and makes you wonder: Why was a sense of care and concern for this individual just absent from the situation by all who went to the scene?”

She added, “I was in law enforcement during the Rodney King incident, and it’s very much aligned with that same type of behavior. I would say it’s about the same, if not worse," the cable network said.

Los Angeles officers in 1991 were caught on video beating King after a vehicle chase; riots in LA and other major cities erupted in 1992 after officers were acquitted of using excessive force on King.

Due to the violent nature of the Nichols' video, Memphis officials are asking that any demonstrations over his death be conducted in a civil manner, CNN said.

Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, told supporters, “I don’t want us burning up our cities, tearing up the streets, because that’s not what my son stood for. And if you guys are here for me and Tyre, then you will protest peacefully," the cable network added.

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@DaveVUrbanski →