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Elon Musk’s criticism of debunked ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ mantra triggers CNN’s Don Lemon: ‘Needs…context’

In an effort to fact-check Twitter owner Elon Musk on Thursday, CNN’s Don Lemon offered up a greatly watered-down version of the “Hands up, don’t shoot” myth that emerged from Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri in . 2014.

The left-wing host declared that “context” was necessary after Musk posted a tweet saying the mantra was “made up.” Musk posted and deleted a tweet about Brown’s fatal shooting upon finding a locker of “#StayWoke” T-shirts at Twitter’s headquarters. The phrase became a national rallying cry for racial justice protests against the police, but the Obama administration’s Justice Department concluded after extensive investigation that it was an illusion that Brown had raised his arms in surrender before being shot by Officer Darren Wilson.

Lemon, after announcing “facts first”, told viewers that “some have said” that Brown was trying to give up when he was killed by Wilson. He then said the Justice Department report “cast doubt” on that account in a clip cited by conservative media watchdog NewsBusters.

“The Department of Justice found no grounds to charge the officer, but in a separate report the same day, it did find evidence of systemic racial discrimination in Ferguson at the hands of the city’s police department and municipal court,” Lemon said, noting that blacks were too far away. They were more likely to be searched in parking lots than whites and the overwhelming majority of those were blacks.

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CNN’s Don Lemon defended the fake “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative on his Thursday morning show.
(CNN/Screenshot)

“So remember, ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ after Ferguson became a symbol of nationwide protest for police mistreatment of minorities. It was about more than the shooting of Michael Brown. It was about the pattern of police shootings and brutality in this country,” Lemon said. .

Then, Lemon appeared to stumble to the teleprompter saying, “And the #StayWoke, which mocked – mocked Musk, was the way Twitter wanted it… called for racial justice, was the way they wanted to call out racial injustice.”

“CNN This Morning” host Bobby Harlow praised Lemon for the segment, saying “It’s important to have the facts.” NewsBusters writer Mark Finkelstein derided Lemon’s talking points as effectively calling Ferguson’s catchphrase “fake but subtle”.

Lemon did not tell viewers that under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice exonerated Wilson of the shooting and buried Hands Up.

It is now widely agreed upon even in the liberal media that the mantra was not based in reality. The Washington Post made it explicit in two headlines in 2015: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot, Built on a Lie” by left-wing opinion writer Jonathan Capehart, and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot Didn’t Happen in Ferguson,” article to verify Facts by Michelle Ye Hee Lee.

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“Brown never gave up with his hands up, and Wilson was justified in shooting Brown,” Capehart wrote.

“Investigators overwhelmingly rejected witness accounts that Brown raised his hands in surrender before shooting him execution style,” Yi Hee Lee wrote. The Justice Department concluded that Wilson did not know if Brown was armed, acted in self-defense and was justified in killing Brown. The majority of witnesses told federal investigators that the initial allegations that Brown’s hands were raised were not accurate. Don’t Shoot didn’t happen. in Brown’s death.

The Washington Post also aggressively fact-checked Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-N and then Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., when they announced in 2019 that Brown had been “killed.” The Justice Department report cited several witnesses who said Brown did not raise his hands and accuse Wilson before shooting and killing him, ignoring repeated directions to “get down.” This came after Wilson, stopped by Wilson as a burglary suspect that evening, punched and grabbed Wilson in his car.

In 2014, CNN critics parodied the "Hands up, don't shoot" Solidarity with the protesters.  The Obama Department of Justice later revealed that it was wrong for Michael Brown to raise his hands before he was killed by a policeman.

In 2014, CNN critics imitated the “Hands up, don’t shoot” pose in solidarity with protesters. The Obama Department of Justice later revealed that it was wrong for Michael Brown to raise his hands before he was killed by a policeman.
(CNN/YouTube)

Fact-checker Glenn Kessler wrote at the time: “Harris and Warren ignored the DOJ’s findings to charge Wilson with murder, even though the DOJ could find no credible evidence to support the claim.”

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In 2014, CNN pundits imitated the “Hands Up” pose in solidarity with protesters, while legal analyst Sunny Hostin held up a “I can’t breathe” sign, referring to the death of Eric Garner in New York. The on-air stunt later became a jab for critics who saw it as emblematic of CNN’s leftward shift under then-president Jeff Zucker.

“CNN This Morning,” under new CEO Chris Licht, debuted this month to dismal ratings.

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