Things heated up on CNN during a discussion as to whether race played a factor in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Blaze TV host Tara Setmayer joined CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill for a segment that ended in a full blown, on-air argument.
Setmayer said she felt Gray’s death in Baltimore was an individual case of police misconduct and not a reflection of a bigger problem in America — the systematic mistreatment of African-American suspects.
“You don’t have to put a race card on everything,” she told Hill.
Watch the heated exchange unfold below: (Starts around 2:45)
Hill quickly responded:
Black people die every day at the hands of law enforcement. It doesn’t matter what color the officer is. The only color that matters is blue…. State violence against citizens is a problem. State violence against poor people is a problem. It’s disproportionate. When you look at the number of black people that die at the hands of law enforcement in proportion to their demographic percentage, we’re overrepresented in police killing. That’s not a coincidence.
Setmayer said Gray’s case was one of criminality, not race. She also defended her position by saying not all of the officers involved were white, thus making this not a race issue. Setmayer also noted Baltimore has multiple high-ranking black officials.
Hill continued, adding:
Your defense of this not being a race issue is that there are black people involved. By that logic nothing is racial if black people are involved… The argument is that there’s a structural problem with law enforcement and that happens whether the officer is black or white. Black people do not march to get beaten by black officers. I don’t care who is doing the beating.
Click here to watch the segment on Mediaite.
Gray died in the hospital a week after he suffered a nearly severed spinal cord while in police custody April 12. His death sparked protests throughout Baltimore and nationwide.
Two weeks after his death, State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced all six officers involved with the transport of Gray will face criminal charges, including second-degree murder for the driver of the van. Mosby also added that Gray’s arrest was unjustified.