It must have been bad idea day at CNN. The reputable news source hosted a call and response on Twitter, asking people to use the hashtag #AskACop for their “Cops Under Fire” segment. Has anyone at CNN ever used the internet? Twitter? That hashtag was clearly setting them up for epic failure. On the panel were five police officers who used deadly force while on the job and Don Lemon was moderating because that’s how all of this works. He’s the Black voice of reason for CNN.
While we all can agree that this idea is the worst, the concept is actually brilliant. Being able to have an open dialogue with police officers who have used force is powerful. The conversation lets civilians into the minds of police officers, who without a doubt risk their lives everyday. Each scenario is different and police never know if anytime they raise their guns, if it’s going to be the last time.
It’s hard to ignore the police brutality cases that have been sensationalized in the media over the last couple of years. We judge them based on our emotions, but seeing someone be brutally choked to death in broad daylight or a 12-year-old get shot in cold blood at a park, or a man who just bought a gun at Walmart get gunned down in that very same Walmart, all by police who could have made less deadly choices, we’re left feeling like our lives don’t matter. That’s why we’re fired up, that’s why we protest, that’s why when given the chance to #AskACop, we ask about them devaluing our lives.
Many critics on Twitter bombarded the hashtag with questions like, “How many bullets does it take to disarm a Black man without a weapon?” or “Actually how dangerous is selling individual cigarettes in the middle of the day?” which obviously displayed the anger that most people are directing at all cops because of the deaths of Black men and boys like Eric Garner, Kajieme Powell, Oscar Grant and Tamir Rice. However, there were legitimate questions included in the Twitter chat, like, “If you knew you couldn’t serve everyone equally, why did you go into law enforcement? The gun? The status?”
Check Out Some Of The #AskACop Tweets:
What do you think about the #AskACop hashtag? Sound off in the comments below.