CNN anchors Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo slammed the media for “journalistic malpractice” for their coverage of the police shooting of 16-year old Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday.
Lemon and Cuomo discussed the issue during the handoff of Lemon’s show as both men defended police officer Nicholas Reardon’s actions in Bryant’s death.
Unlike others in the liberal media Lemon said that he thought Reardon had a duty to “protect and serve the other life on that scene,” based on the police bodycam footage that he had seen and decried those that immediately tried to compare the incident to other police shootings.
Cuomo told Lemon that “this is not a great case to fight on the facts about how policing has to change because this use of force was wrong,” and Lemon agreed “This is not it.”
Cuomo noted that “the reason that the case still matters to people of color” is that “Whenever there’s a problem and it’s someone of color, they only seem to be hearing about it all the time with a bad outcome. And it’s heartbreaking.”
Lemon explained why he thought the use of deadly force was the best option in the shooting:
LEMON: And people, you know, shoot in the leg. People don’t stab people with their feet. They’re stabbing with their arms and their upper body. So, their — the officer is shooting to neutralize the threat. The threat is coming from where? Here. that’s where the threat’s — and that’s where he shoots, to stop the motion of where the knife is coming from. And, again, everyone’s what about a taser? Tasers don’t always work in these situations. Talk to Barksdale or anybody else.
CUOMO: Tasers don’t always work. Full stop.
LEMON: They don’t always work. Full stop. It’s just not — they’re not efficient enough from that distance and that amount of time.
Talking about those that are trying to compare this incident with others Lemon said “we’ve got to be honest about these things, and if we’re not honest about these things as journalists, then it is a dereliction of our duty as journalists. It’s journalistic malpractice not to do it.
“I heard some people were reporting on the incident without showing the knife,” Cuomo said.
“Yes, you got to show all of it,” Lemon said, with Cuomo agreeing, “That is malpractice.”
Lemon came under criticism from some liberals, including his friends on ABC’s The View, who thought he was wrong to defend the police officer while ignoring the threat Bryant posed with her knife.