Viewers were shocked to see a young female student torn from her desk by an aggressive school security officer in a video that went viral on Monday; but, many have criticized CNN anchor Don Lemon, who said the short clip doesn’t give us enough information to judge.
In a segment on Wolf Blitzer’s Tuesday morning program, Don opined on the controversial video that many have said crossed a line. After being forcefully lifted from her seat, the student fell to the ground with the desk falling on top of her before being dragged out the front of the room. One version of the clip, which lasts around 10 seconds, can be seen below.
Lemon said this short video doesn’t show enough for anyone to say whether or not the SC school cop overreacted. Agreeing with Don, analyst Tom Fuentes said that teen girl was possibly “lacking compliance” which led to the situation getting out of hand. Lemon, while emphasizing that the footage looked “horrible,” said that he was not fully convinced the officer acted inappropriately by overturning the student’s desk.
“It does look disturbing. The part that is most disturbing to me is seeing her thrown around. As far as the desk going over, I don’t know if the desk fell over because she didn’t want to get up or if he pushed it over. I don’t know. I think there’s context to everything. I would like to see what happens before and I would like to see what happened afterwards… It does look horrible. It does look like there’s no excuse for what he’s doing to her, but again, we don’t know… This only show a small slice in time of what happened. I’d like to know more before passing judgment.”
As soon as Don finished his comments, prosecutor Sunny Hostin jumped in to tear apart the reactions of Lemon and Fuentes. Watching a school cop flip over a desk to get a student into custody is outrageous no matter what the context, she argued.
“I don’t need to know more. Let me tell you this… the law provides that the standard here is whether or not the officer has to use this type of force, whether its reasonable and necessary to somehow secure discipline in this school. The bottom line, Don, is that this is a young girl. This is a girl in school. There is not justification for using that kind of [force]. She is sitting there. She is not resisting. She is sitting there [in] a chair.”
Lemon continued to put forward the idea that just seeing the moment of the student being flipped in her desk was not enough to adequately judge the altercation. Already often lambasted by the black community for a lack of loyalty, Don often again found himself the target of Twitter posts tearing him down for not choosing to defend the girl involved in the violent arrest outright.
Don Lemon – just stop. That teenage girl was in a chair, unarmed, and wasn’t attacking the officer. It’s unreasonable force. It’s assault.
— My Daughter’s Army (@mydaughtersarmy) October 27, 2015
Don Lemon gotta be the biggest Uncle Tom in history
— Britt (@AlexBri_) October 27, 2015
Don Lemon is likely to get the extra information about the video that he’s looking for. The student desk flip video sparked such outraged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department will be looking into the matter. Even leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke out about the SC school incident on Twitter, reported Reuters.
[Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images; Other images via YouTube]