In the wake of recent police killings, a CNN panel got ugly recently when former NYPD Detective Harry Houck tried to argue that black people were “more prone to criminality” than whites. The panel discussion can be viewed below:
Houck made his argument while reading from a sheet of paper indicating that black Americans in New York City were disproportionally arrested for more violent crimes than whites. “That’s why there are more blacks in jail than there are whites,” said Houck, implying that the arrest records from the NYPD were completely unbiased and faultless. “They turn it around — the racial demagogues out there — turn it around that the blacks are being picked on.”
Mark Lamont Hill, another panelist, went against Houck’s claim that racism was not at fault for the disproportionate incarceration of black Americans by police. Hill indicated that in one of his thorough investigations of the Ferguson, Missouri police department that there was actually “considerable evidence of racism” in the form of emails, phone calls, and regular policing practices he evaluated.
Houck scoffed at Hill’s claim by downplaying the evidence he collected. He claimed that there were only a handful of emails with racist content, despite the fact that Hill indicated there were only about 100 officers on staff at the time of his investigation. “It doesn’t matter!” Houck shouted.
Hill shot right back, stating, “Harry just went on national TV and said black people are prone to criminality!”
“Well they are!” Houck exclaimed.
“You think black people are prone to criminality?” Hill asked. “You don’t mean to say that. I’m going to give you a chance to correct [yourself]. You don’t mean that black people are prone to criminality.”