During a Thursday segment on CNN, Don Lemon said he always complies with police officers because he doesn't want to get shot.
His comments come after the media blitz covering the two black individuals who were shot and killed by white police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. Lemon shared his techniques when he is interacting with a police officer:
"I am one who always says that you should comply with police officers, especially as a man of color. 'Officer, why are you stopping me?' 'Yes, officer' or whatever."
But the CNN host said he does so begrudgingly just to "stay alive":
"Now, I am an American. I shouldn't have to do that. I shouldn’t have to be ‘Yes, sir’-ing anybody, right? I’m a grown-you-know-what man in America. But I do it because I want to stay alive. That's why I do it."
Lemon said this is in contrast to his white friends who apparently get away with saying whatever they want to cops:
"My white counterparts don't do that. They speak to police officers in a way that I would never in a million years -- and that is the reality of it… I have to do that because I don't want to be shot."
Charles Coleman Jr., a civil rights attorney, was on the panel and said that compliance and respectability towards the police might keep some citizens safe from police brutality, but that "is not the reality for black men in this country."
"That is a problem," Coleman added.
Lemon insisted, however, that "in this environment to stay alive," do exactly what the cop tells you to do.