CNN Called Out by Dan Abrams Over Anti-Cop Special

Over the weekend, CNN aired a pre-recorded special from reporter Sara Sidner that devoted an hour to portraying police officers as engaging in widespread racial discrimination against African Americans. As is typical of the liberal network, there was no acknowledgement that people of all races are sometimes subjected to violence during arrests as she declared that it is a system that is “fraught with bias.”

NewsNation host Dan Abrams — also chief legal analyst for ABC News and former co-host the A&E show Live PD(which was cancelled by the Left in June 2020). He criticized CNN for showing the special after high-profile police officer murder cases. Sidner’s flawed analysis was also challenged.

First, Sidner’s special. She went through a list of several black motorists who were subjected to questionable violence in recent years, but, in most cases, she understated what the suspect had done that contributed to the situation being escalated to violence.



In recalling that Daunte Wright was pulled over for an expired tag and inappropriate display of air freshener, it was not mentioned that the officers ran his tag number before stopping him and already had reason to believe there was a warrant out for his arrest before they pulled him over. His legal issues that led to his warrant were also overlooked. He had allegedly tried to rob an elderly woman with a gun. CNN has ignored Wright’s other crimes in the past year.

After officers could not see Caron Nazario’s temporary tag from his Virginia home, officers pulled him over. However, it wasn’t said that the tinted window he was using to hide the tag made it difficult for them to see. Nazario failed to immediately stop, raising red flags among the pursuing officers.

Her accounting of the shooting death of Philando Castile in Minnesota after the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, mistakenly believed he was pulling out his gun, did not mention that Castile failed to use the proper protocol to make sure his hands were on the steering wheel when informing the officer of having a firearm in his car.

It was also not mentioned that Castile’s daily marijuana use meant that it was illegal for him to possess a gun.

Sidner also used Castile’s mother to argue that her son had been racially profiled for years because he had been pulled over about 50 times in a decade. It was not mentioned that, for most of that time, Castile had frequently driven on a suspended license and without the legally required insurance, which traffic cops could easily have discovered just by running his tag number before deciding whether to stop him (a commonplace and routine practice for traffic cops).

It is a serious offense to drive without insurance.

On his eponymous Monday show, Abrams opened by responding to the CNN special (click “expand”):

This week has seen a lot news regarding police and policing. Police officers intentionally killed in near record numbers in 2021 and, this month, news of officers in Houston and New York, among others. CNN produced an hour-long special this weekend on American police officers. It wasn’t about cops killed in record numbers or the risks of being officers. No. No.


CNN is not a news channel. However, the series is almost entirely a compilation of best hits on police misconduct, even though it is the focus of this week’s news about the deaths of cops.


Wait. What if officers get hurt in 2 percent of traffic stop? This is a lot higher than what I thought. It’s quite a lot. That means using her 36,000 number, that in 720  of those the cops are injured? The documentary attempted to simply write out a shocking number of traffic stop successes. 

He pointed out that Sidner used a source, UNC professor Frank Baumgartner, who tried to argue that it was inappropriate to do police searches if 75 percent failed to find anything illegal, even though finding something illegal 25 percent is still a substantial amount of time: “So finding guns or drugs on a quarter of those cases — is going to result in a lot of guns and drugs being taken off the street. This is how you show that the police failed to protect innocent people.



Abrams also attacked Sidner for citing a study that showed traffic stops didn’t make much difference in keeping communities safe. (click the “expand” button)

However, what type of study would that be? There was no reduction in crime based solely on traffic violations. How does this prove anything? This is like saying there has to be a relationship between lower pizza sales and better health.


Multiple times, police officers are seen in the line-of-fire during a traffic stop. In many cases this is how police locate missing fugitives. I will be honest. It is still possible to have racial bias within our society. This can then spread into the policing system and officers should be punished for their actions. The CNN Special is advocating that cops without weapons should not pull over cars. It must be their fault if the situation escalates. 

Not surprisingly, the CNN documentary did not mention that only 25% of officers who are killed while on duty by police are Black.

Sunday’s CNN special was sponsored in part by Samsung and AT&T. You can find their contact information here. Please let them know your opinion about CNN’s deceptive presentation. It undermines the ability of police officers to keep us safer.

The following is a transcription:

CNN Special Report — Traffic Stop – Dangerous Encounters
January 30, 2022
Eastern, 9:00 pm

SARA SIDNER – The videos are quite disturbing. They are all well-known. Traffic stops: where drivers pay the ultimate price in a system fraught with bias


Eastern, 9:06

SARA SIDNER: It was a traffic stop of a black person like many you’ve heard about in the news over the past several years. Daunte, a 20-year old man from Minneapolis was pulled over initially for a minor offense. He had an expired tag on his vehicle and air freshener in his rearview. Wright fled officers who tried to arrest Wright for an outstanding warrant.

KIM POTTER: Taser Taser!

SIDER: He died. An officer shot him after she thought her gun was her Taser. An officer shot Philando castile in Minneapolis after pulling him under for a minor traffic offense, which was a broken taillight. His girlfriend said Castile reached for his identification, and informed the officer that he had a gun which he had a legal permit to carry, but the officer claimed Castile’s hand was on the gun.

[Clip of shooting from dashcam]

SIDNER : Walter Scott was pulled over by the police for having a bad taillight. He fled.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: 1080 in the foot. Black male, green shirt.

SIDER: A police officer fatally shot SIDNER in the back. He pleaded guilty. Scott was deprived of his civil rights. This federal offense led to Scott being sentenced for 20 years. Two officers from Southern Virginia approached Caron Nazario’s SUV and pulled guns during an accident.

CARON NAZARIO, What’s the Deal?

OFFICER – What is going on? You’re preparing to ride the lightning.

SIDNER: Officers reported that they did not see Nazario’s temporary paper tag.

NAZARIO – I am afraid of getting out.

SIDNER: He was pepper-sprayed.

OFFICER – Get out of your car.

SIDNER: Nazario was able to survive and is now suing the city for one million dollars in damages. Virginia’s attorney General has filed a lawsuit against the city alleging that officers discriminated against black drivers. Each day approximately 50,000 U.S. motorists are stopped. This is approximately 20 million people per year. It is one of the most popular civilian interactions with police officers. However, it’s more prevalent for blacks and could be more dangerous.

FRANK BAUMGARTNER (UNIVERSITY of NORTH CAROLINA): A black driver getting in to a vehicle is approximately twice as likely that one containing a white passenger.

SIDNER – Professor Frank Baumgartner from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, is an expert traffic stops. In North Carolina, he’s examined 20 million traffic stops. When it comes to searching, the discrepancies are even greater.

BAUMGARTNER – Once you’re pulled over it is a double win. You have a four-fold greater chance of getting searched if you are black.

SIDNER: Most people have heard of the expression driving while being black. This is a popular refrain among black communities. We now have hard facts that support this assertion. How did we manage to get to the point that if you are black you have a higher chance of being pulled over for a search?


Eastern, 9:16

SIDNER: Castile was granted a permit to carry.



CASTILE : — A firearm on you.



YANEZ – Don’t take it out.

CASTILE – I am happy to get it out.

SIDNER: Castile reached to his identity —

YANEZ – Don’t take it out.


SIDNER: Castile claimed that he was seen by an officer holding his gun. The officer reacted quickly.


VALERIE CASTILE MOTHER OF PHILANDO CASTILE – I woke to my daughter screaming and crying that he was dying on Facebook.

REYNOLDS: He was reaching for his wallet, and the officer just shot him in his arm.

YANEZ : He was told not to grab it! I said to him that he should get out his hand!

REYNOLDS. You asked him for his ID. Please don’t say he is dead, Oh my God!

VALERIE CASTEL: My son died, and I know that. The same emotions you experience when you give birth to your child were present in my body. He was trying to survive when those cramps started. When the contractions stopped I realized he was gone.

SIDNER: He was pulled over for having a defective taillight. This is a minor traffic offense that has happened more than 52 times in his life since 2002. [TO VALERIE CASTILE]It is not surprising that your son has been stopped multiple times.

VALERIE CASTEL: It was because he was Black. He was black. It’s impossible to be so unlucky and it is almost impossible for anyone to drive like that. He didn’t run a stop sign or were in an accident. None of these things are true. They call it “pretext stops”

BAUMGARTNER. BAUMGARTNER. Most equipment violations used as pretext for pulling someone over. Usually, these are people living on the margins of the town and often with minorities. These stops are where officers first decide to talk to the driver. Then, they figure out a way of pulling him over.

SIDN: When you use the word conversation you are referring to an investigation.

BAUMGARTNER – A conversation is like this. What do you think the reason I stopped you? Sir, no, that’s not what I know. It was an illegal left turn. Did I? Yes sir. Are there any weapons in your car? Do you have any illegal drugs in your car? Are you okay if I check the car

SIDNER – Police officers tell us that pre-textual stops were a standard tool police used to find drugs and guns. The Supreme Court in 1996 ruled that it didn’t violate Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable seizures. Experts agree that it is simple to find the reason for pulling someone over.

BAUMGARTNER : There are 500 elements to the North Carolina travel code that distinguish between traffic and vehicle codes.

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