CNN Panel Devolves Into Chaos When Guest Screams ‘Rogue Cops’ ‘Shoot Black People for Sport’

In a moment that rivals noteworthy CNN panels that devolved into verbal chaos (examples here and here), Friday’s AC360 saw another inductee as CNN political commentator and former Congressional Black Caucus staffer Angela Rye irresponsibly, hypocritically, and recklessly declared that she’s never said a thing that’s anti-police but seconds later screamed that “rogue cops” go out so they can “shoot black people for sport.”

From the moment Rye dropped this vile talking point, fellow Democrat and St. Louis Police Officers Association representative Jeff Roorda understandably reacted with anger at “the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard on this network” and told Rye she should be ashamed of herself.

The contentious portion of the panel discussion started building when Roorda agreed with New York Times columnist Charles Blow’s feelings that “economic segregation” is behind the plight of African-Americans, but took this shot at Rye: “The politicians who are now attacking law enforcement like one of our fellow panelists are the ones that created that and allow it to continue.”

Rye responded by forcefully claiming that she’s never “said anything that was hate-filled or anything toward law enforcement” and urged Roorda to “start telling the truth on air because we have an awesome responsibility.”

When Rye read a statement from Black Lives Matters activists emphasizing that their actions have nothing to do with the murderous, police-killing gunman in Dallas, Roorda fired back by asking her if she ever saw what so-called protestors had done in Ferguson, Missouri (which, of course, included looting, destroying police cars, and burning down strip malls).

With no warning, Rye dropped this utterly childish declaration: “So what I think is very important for you to understand just like there are rogue cops who shoot black people for sport. There are rogue protesters.”

Roorda was visibly shocked and stated that, in all his CNN appearances, “[t]hat’s the most offensive thing I've ever heard on this network.” 

When he maintained that police are not looking to be “mounting heads on the wall” but “save lives,” host Don Lemon had enough as he stepped in to call Rye out for her reckless behavior (albeit unsuccessfully):

LEMON: Angela, do you think it's inflammatory to say that police officers shoot black people for sport? 

RYE: No, I don't. I think that is exactly how I feel and when you look across this country at the data, when you look at why the folks in the streets are angry. We have been saying this for years, Don. 

With Rye having dug in, Roorda informed her that “it’s because of that rhetoric” that’s “fomenting violence” and resulted in the murders of police officers. He continued by telling Rye “shame on you” and this did not assuage Rye’s uncontrolled diatribes and downright disrespectful behavior by telling Roorda that he’s “so arrogant” and doesn’t “listen” to him: 

RYE: Sir, let me finish my thought because you —

ROORDA: Shame on you! Shame on you!

RYE: Shame on you! Why don't you be quiet! Why don't you listen? You’re so arrogant you can't even hear. 

ROORDA: Cause you’re saying the same things that led to murders last night. That’s why I’m not going to be quiet.

Lemon eventually wrestled control of the segment back and towards a commercial break but not before Rye concluded that “the blood is not” on her hands for the deaths of police officers:

The blood is not on my hands for telling the truth. There have been lynch mobs for decades. There have been killings for decades that we have been told we lied about before there was videotape and audiotape and conveniently during Alton Sterling's cold-hearted murder the other day, body cameras fell off. Don't tell me about how I'm doing — the blood is not on my hands, sir.

The relevant portions of the transcript from CNN’s AC360 on July 8 can be found below.

CNN’s AC360
July 8, 2016
8:37 p.m. Eastern

ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION’s JEFF ROORDA: Economic segregation is a very real thing. It's at the root of these deadly confrontations, but law enforcement didn't create that economic segregation. 

ANGELA RYE: Okay.

ROORDA: The politicians who are now attacking law enforcement like one of our fellow panelists are the ones that created that and allow it to continue. Cops are there to make those neighborhoods safer, to try to make black lives matter, to try to allow these kids to see a future where many don't. 

DON LEMON: Let Angela respond. I believe you were talking about Angela. Go ahead.

RYE: Yeah. So first of all, I don't know what you're talking about. I have not said anything that was hate-filled or anything toward law enforcement. I worked for 40-plus members of Congress who have never done such a thing so I reject that and I hope that you start telling the truth on air because we have an awesome responsibility to try to end —

LEMON: But go on and address the issue, Angela.

ROORDA: Whatever.

RYE: So that’s — did you say whatever? Anyway, so let me read this. We had Donald Trump's statement. We have Hillary Clinton's statement and we're talking about an incident that is supposedly anti-police. I hope it's not black lives matter because this is what Black Lives Matter said. They said: “Black activists have raised a call for an end to violence and not an escalation of it. Yesterday's attack were the actions of a lone gunman. To assign the actions of one person to an entire movement is dangerous and irresponsible” and to that end, I stand with them in solidarity.

ROORDA: Were you here in Ferguson? Did you see the way the black lives matter protests — protesters conducted themselves? 

RYE: So what I think is very important for you to understand just like there are rogue cops who shoot black people for sport. There are rogue protesters.

ROORDA: That's the most offensive thing I've ever heard on this network.

RYE: Well, you know what’s more offensive than to me is you calling  an organization — 

ROORDA: We're mounting heads on the wall. That's what law enforcement is about? We’re trying to save lives.

LEMON: Angela, do you think it's inflammatory to say that police officers shoot black people for sport? 

RYE: No, I don't. I think that is exactly how I feel and when you look across this country at the data, when you look at why the folks in the streets are angry. We have been saying this for years, Don. We have —

ROORDA: It's because of that rhetoric. 

RYE: We have been saying — it’s not rhetoric.

ROORDA: You’re the one fomenting violence that’s resulted in cops’ deaths last night. 

RYE: Sir, let me finish my thought because you —

ROORDA: Shame on you! Shame on you!

RYE: Shame on you! Why don't you be quiet! Why don't you listen? You’re so arrogant you can't even hear. 

ROORDA: Cause you’re saying the same things that led to murders last night. That’s why I’m not going to be quiet.

RYE: You know what? The blood is not on my hands for telling the truth. There have been lynch mobs for decades. There have been killings for decades that we have been told we lied about before there was videotape and audiotape and conveniently during Alton Sterling's cold-hearted murder the other day, body cameras fell off. Don't tell me about how I'm doing — the blood is not on my hands, sir.

ROORDA: And the video from convenience store exonerates those cops.

LEMON: Yeah. Hey Charles —

RYE: And what I’m telling you is that is not true. 

LEMON: — Charles —

RYE: You know that's not true. 

LEMON: Give us the final word here, please cause again, nobody hears when everybody is talking. 

CHARLES BLOW: Listen, I just think that what we have to ask ourselves is it acceptable for us that so many of these young black people, disproportionately young black people are collateral damage in the quest for our safety?

LEMON: Yeah. 

BLOW: And that's a very simple question, right? That's the moral argument and separate from the legal argument. That's the moral argument. If we accept and say that this is not acceptable to us that is the starting — that is a baseline for a constructive conversation and constructive kind of re-aligning of policing in America. 

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