*Not even five minutes into CNN’s “New Day” on Monday, a panel discussion on race and law enforcement turned into a shouting match.
During the 6 a.m. ET broadcast, retired NYPD Detective Harry Houck got into it with CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill, a Morehouse College professor who was making the point that systemic racism largely exists targeting black communities. Houck argued that higher crime rates in black communities, not racism, leads to the racial disparity in the criminal justice system.
“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.”
Houck 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.
“What does this say?!” Houck yelled, referencing his statistics.
“Harry, Googling some numbers is different than talking to me!” Hill yelled.
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 stayed out of the line of fire, then forged into 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 exchange from CNN’s “New Day” below: