CNN's Cooper Hounds NYC Police Union Head About 'Inherent Bias' on Race

CNN's Anderson Cooper forwarded common liberal talking points on race on the Monday and Tuesday editions of his program. During a two-part interview of Patrick Lynch, the president of the union for New York City police officers, Cooper asserted that "everybody has inherent biases...biases that, sometimes they're not even aware of" and wondered, "Aren't those amplified amongst those who have power over others?" [video below]

The anchor gave a similar line the previous Wednesday during a contentious segment with Charles Blow of the New York Times and conservative Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent: "There are many, many studies showing there is inherent bias in many people."

Cooper brought on Lynch for his take on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's recent press conference where he apparently spoke "with obvious emotion, about Eric Garner's death." The left-wing politician also claimed that he and his African-American wife have "had to literally train [his son], as families have all over this city for decades, in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers." Lynch had blasted Mayor de Blasio for "throwing them [police officers] under the bus" with his remarks.

The CNN personality first wondered, "You said the mayor has thrown police officers under the bus. How has he done that?" Lynch replied, in part that "the mayor, right after the grand jury had made their decision, put onto the backs of New York City police officers decades of racism. And that's just not true." Cooper followed up by asking, "You don't believe race is an issue with New York City police officers, as it is elsewhere in society?"

The union head pointed out that the NYPD is a "majority-minority police department," and underlined that "we have thousands and thousand of interactions each and every day....We're not looking at who the person is. We're looking at the behavior that leads to the interaction with the police....and why someone called the police in the first place."

Cooper spent the rest of the interview with his "inherent bias" claim and boosting the apparent concerns of the mayor, along with many African-Americans:

ANDERSON COOPER: I talked to...the borough council president of Brooklyn, Eric Adams. He said that...when he was on the force, the way police policed in Brooklyn, in some communities of color, is different than they police on Park Avenue.

LYNCH: That's absolutely not true-

COOPER: You say categorically not true-

LYNCH: It's not true. Look, there's racism in everything. There's racism in every profession that's out there. But on majority, our police officers are going out doing the job. They're really not asking who it is. They're getting a call of a crime. Those calls come from the community. In this case in Staten Island, it was the community that called – not once – it was a chronic location. They went to the community council meetings and complained. We were sent there because the merchants asked us to be there. They didn't just show up-

COOPER: But if everybody has inherent biases, that – biases that, sometimes they're not even aware of – aren't those amplified amongst those who have power over others?

LYNCH: No! I don't believe so, because you have to look at the numbers of cases that police officers deal with every day, and the majority of people leave satisfied. We're not asking who they are. It just doesn't happen.

COOPER: So when the mayor says he's worried about his son, and the dangers his son would face interacting with the police – that upset you?

LYNCH: What should upset him, and what should upset his son, is the criminals that are on the street. It's New York City police officers – are literally putting themselves between the citizens and the criminals.

COOPER: But there are a lot of – I mean, I've heard that comment from a lot of African-American parents, who are...worried about their kids, not only with crime on the streets, but also with interacting with police and-

LYNCH: But what – but what he left out of the comment is it's the police officers you should be running to – to help you. It's police officers that surround the mayor and his family keeping them safe as we speak.


COOPER: ...I talked to a lot of African-American parents, who live in a different part of town than I grew up in, and they have a completely different perception of the police....Even if you're saying it's not correct, the fact that that perception exists and it's so widespread, isn't that a problem?

LYNCH: But I can – I can understand that frustration; and I can understand, when you watch a video and you're – you're just seeing a portion of it, I can understand being outraged at – at what you're seeing – not understanding all that went into it; not seeing the whole video or what led up to that video as well. So, I can – I can understand that. But that's why we need to have a dispassionate conversation about it – not have rabble-rousers – Al Sharpton, whose business is to stir the street up. If we want to have a real discussion, like we're having today – we can disagree, but, maybe, we can come to a nice medium by having a real conversation – not rallies blocking the street.

COOPER: So, to – to an African-American parent out there who feels like – you know what? I have to have this conversation, yet again, with my teenage son about how you carry yourself in front of a police officer.

LYNCH: I can't place myself, at anyone's kitchen table, how they feel, nor would I disrespect anyone by trying to tell them that. But I what I will say is this: that the neighborhoods in the City of New York are much safer than they were a few short years ago, because the police officer was willing to put him or herself at risk for our sons and daughters. And we should all have conversations with our sons and daughters – and part of that is your interaction with the police. Don't put ourselves or hang around with people that will put us in a position of getting in trouble. Again, it's the behavior that leads to the interaction with the police, not who you are.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.