CNN got more than it bargained for when it asked viewers on Twitter to supply the questions for a news special concerning police use of lethal force, Mashable reported.
The network promoted the hashtag #AskACop in advance of “Cops Under Fire,” which featured host Don Lemon and a group of officers discussing instances in which they killed suspects.
In response, Twitter users took the opportunity to press the officers on not only personal encounters with law enforcement, but examples of police violence and questions about their perception among many members of the public. During the broadcast, CNN also appeared to use another tag, #CopsUnderFire, perhaps to divert attention from the critical response:
How fulfilling is a job as an egotistical, adrenaline junkie bully for the State? #AskACop
— Jonesboro Wade (@TN_Jonesboro) December 17, 2014
#askacop remember that time you searched me for drugs when I pulled over to check my tire? What was up with that?
— Bloody Honey (@BloodyBHoney) December 17, 2014
One person asked about Kelly Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic man who died in 2011 after being beaten and Tased by Fullerton police:
— Momak na Milicu (@MilosPesic6) December 17, 2014
While others focused on the spate of fatal police shootings involving members of the Black community:
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) December 17, 2014
#AskACop how many shots are necessary to disarm an unarmed black man.
— Afia B. (@CadeauXO) December 17, 2014
When you beat someone brutally who didn't pay 2 bucks for a subway ride, do you feel like the community should be grateful? #AskACop
— Anarchy for Love (@anarchyforlove) December 17, 2014
#Askacop I have a math question: if 1 Black man has zero guns, zero knives and 2 hands, how many bullets does it take to disarm him?
— Jamilah Lemieux (@JamilahLemieux) December 17, 2014
— Jane Belfry (@janemagnitude) December 17, 2014
Watch a portion of CNN’s “Cops Under Fire” discussion, as aired on Tuesday, below.