Don Lemon and Sunny Hostin battled it out during a segment on Monday night on CNN. According to Salon, Lemon, Hostin, and Wolf Blitzer were having a discussion about the Spring Valley incident. As the video played on the screen, the three of them spoke about the use of force displayed on the video.
The video of the incident at Spring Valley High School was released on Monday. Following its release, it caused a firestorm on social media. The video shows Deputy Ben Fields yanking a girl out of her seat, throwing her, and using further action to take her down. The video shocked everyone its release.
During Lemon’s segment on Monday night, he said to Sunny Hostin and Wolf Blitzer that more facts needed to be known. The young girl in the video might have done something to the officer before the person with the cell phone camera started filming the incident. According to Vibe, Don Lemon said, “We don’t know what happened. You weren’t sitting in the room, Sunny. You don’t know if she wasn’t standing up. You do need to know more, and as a prosecutor, you should want to know more.”
— VibeMagazine (@VibeMagazine) October 27, 2015
Sunny Hostin was outraged by his comment, and she decided to give him a piece of her mind.
“The law provides that the standard here is whether or not the officer has to use this type of force. Whether it’s reasonable and necessary to somehow secure discipline in the school. The bottom line is, Don, this is a young girl. This is a girl in school. There is no justification for using that kind [of force]. Whether or not that force is justifiable is the issue, and the force is not justifiable. She is sitting there, she is not resisting, she is sitting there in a chair. That is unreasonable force, that is excessive force, and it’s assault.”
CNN has continued to cover this story on its network since the incident with Don Lemon, and there are new facts that have been uncovered since Monday. Deputy Ben Fields is the officer shown in the video, and he was put on administrative leave after the incident happened.
CNN reported that Fields was fired on Wednesday for the incident at Spring Valley High School. Scott Hayes, Fields’ attorney, released a statement about the incident. It said, “We believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were justified and lawful throughout the circumstances of which he was confronted during this incident. To that extent we believe that Mr. Fields’ actions were carried out professionally and that he was performing his job duties within the legal threshold.”
— Mashable (@mashable) October 27, 2015
More facts about the incident have been released, and it is now being reported that the young girl “popped” the officer in the arm with her fist before he used force to take her down. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott does put part of the blame on the student for this incident, but he agrees that Fields went too far with his actions. Before this incident, Deputy Ben Fields had worked at the school for seven years.
What caused the incident in the first place? The CNN report revealed that the incident happened because of cell phone usage. The math teacher in the classroom asked the girl to give up her cell phone, and she refused. When she also refused to leave the classroom, the teacher called in Fields.
This is not the first time Don Lemon and Sunny Hostin have battled it out live on CNN. Over the summer, the pair had a heated exchange over Obama’s use of the N-word during a speech. Lemon defended the use of the word in the media, but Sunny Hostin battled him verbally about the word’s usage.
Lemon has been surrounded by controversy on more than one occasion in the past. He has been labeled as the “worst” in year-end polls. There is now a Change.org petition that is demanding that CNN fire Don Lemon. The Root reported on the new petition on Tuesday. At the time of this report, more than 27,088 have signed this petition to remove Lemon from his job.
The petition stated, “Since the tragic incident of Trayvon Martin in 2012, CNN anchor Don Lemon has consistently antagonized and defamed the characteristics of African-Americans on the national scale in his mass communications. From the holding of the ‘N’ word sign before the national audience to disrespecting the Mayor of Baltimore to his most recent comments of the unfortunate incident where a student was removed from her chair like a rag-doll by a police officer, Mr. Lemon has avoided the chance to state the obvious: the challenges that face African-Americans are real and that solutions need to be found.”
Will CNN actually take note of this petition and fire Don Lemon from their network? It is not likely. As previously stated, Lemon has caused controversy before, and CNN did nothing then. Lemon speaks his mind, and his comments stir things up.
Was he right that more facts needed to be known in this case? After the debate on Monday night, the officer was fired, and it was reported that the girl actually hit the officer before he acted. That does not defend the actions of the officer, but it does add more information.
What do you think about Don Lemon’s latest battle with Sunny Hostin on CNN? What are your thoughts on the Spring Valley incident video that caused the debate between the pair?
[Image by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images]