Hank Johnson spars with Sean Hannity on police shootings and 'black-on-black crime'

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, sparred with Fox News host Sean Hannity last night on the subject of police officer shootings.

The impetus was Johnson's declaration on the House floor that "It feels like open season on black men in America."

Hannity had denounced the killing of Walter Scott in North Charleston, S.C., but added: "I can't think of one other instance that is similar to that."

Johnson: "You can't think of one other instance where there has been an unjustified killing that has been caught on tape?"

Hannity (as they talk over each other): "No. Not like that. That looked like an assassination. ... The Michael Brown case wasn't like that. The Trayvon Martin case wasn't like that."

Hannity later went on:

"There are some bad cops, that's one case that you got right. Those numbers are dramatically lower than the instances of black-on-black crime. And I believe every one of these kids, every one of these statistics, we need to save their lives. And I think we've got to then deal with the bigger problem here and the entire problem. You seem to want to only go after law enforcement. That's my only question."

Johnson replied:

"No, no, I want to get at the root cause of culture that exists in the black community, of a sense of hopelessness among inner city youth, those who don't see a sense of hope about the future. I want to change that, and I know that we can. But on the case of police brutality towards black males in this nation, I think that's something that we need to recognize, but it's also something that legislation can help with."


Meanwhile, that Oklahoma auxiliary deputy who shot an already captured black suspect has sent a shiver through posses comitatus everywhere. From the Tulsa World:

At least three of reserve deputy Robert Bates' supervisors were transferred after refusing to sign off on his state-required training, multiple sources speaking on condition of anonymity [said].

Bates, 73, is accused of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Eric Harris during an undercover operation on April 2.