It's not often I'm positively surprised by anything aired on CNN, but the interview Don Lemon did with members of the Cambridge Police Department Saturday is nothing less than breathtaking.
While most media members have shamefully taken the side of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates in the matter of his arrest by Sgt. James Crowley on July 16, Lemon took the time to meet with the officer's co-workers.
The net result will not only leave you in tears, but also make you wonder why more news outlets haven't gone this far to seek out the inconvenient truths surrounding this affair (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Hot Air):
DON LEMON, CNN: Well, I spent a couple of days in Cambridge, Massachusetts, talking to people on both sides of the Professor Gates-Officer Crowley issue. Following yesterday's news conference, I spoke to several of Sergeant Crowley's colleagues with him there in the room listening, and I have to tell you, they were very passionate, and at point, pretty emotional.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. LEON LASHLEY, CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS POLICE: It happens to be a white officer on a black man and the common call a lot of times is to call it a racist situation. Don't get me wrong, it does happen. It has happened here in Cambridge. And I can't say it will not ever happen again in Cambridge. This situation right here was not a racial motivated situation.
LEMON: And you know people obviously, they're going to pay closer attention to you because you're an African-American man. I'm just being honest. You're supporting this white officer that has been put out there by some that he was racially profiling Dr. Gates. They're going to pay attention to you.
LASHLEY: I hope they would. They called him -- I heard one of the comments a rogue cop. There's nothing rogue about him. He was doing his job.
UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Not only Sergeant Crowley but the men and the women, the officers of the Cambridge police department who are good, upstanding officers did not deserve this. Did not deserve this negative attention. Did not deserve it at all.
LEMON: When you heard about what happened with this sergeant, what did you think?
KING: I was appalled. I know Jimmy. I have known him for more than 11 years with the Cambridge police. I knew him when he worked for Harvard. I know him to be a good police officer, a good man with character, and I knew these charges were bogus. There has been a tremendous rush to judgment. And I think the thing to be earned first and foremost from this is to look at all of the evidence, to consider all, to weigh all. I think Professor Gates has done a very good job of filling up a very effective smoke screen calling race into this. It had nothing to do with it.
LEMON: And the president?
KING: It's unfortunate. I supported him. I voted for him. I will not again. I agree that I think it's admirable that he would speak on behalf of his friend, but he should have refused himself. He should have stepped back and he should have said, I support my friend, but I don't have all the facts. I won't weigh in yet.
LEMON: And the governor?
KING: I would apply the same to him.
LEMON: What do you want the people around the country to know who may have already made up their minds about Sergeant Crowley?
KING: Keep their minds on. And realize that we would not support someone that we felt wronged someone else. We took this job to do the right thing. We all took this job to do the right thing. We would not support anyone in blue doing the wrong thing.
LEMON: I know you can't respond, you can't talk. You can -- you can nod your head. You got to be touched by this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That was James Crowley standing there.
On the advice of council, he could not speak to us. But if that happens, if they allow him to speak, he says he's going to talk to us. And we'll bring him on, and we'll hear his full side of the story. So we hope that happens soon.
Bravo, Don! Bravo!