Fox News contributor Dan Bongino excoriated Democratic strategist Jonathan Harris during a Monday night appearance on “The Ingraham Angle” after Harris suggested that it was reasonable for Americans to feel “unsafe” in the presence of law enforcement.
The heated exchange was sparked by a recent incident, in which six Tempe, Arizona, police officers were asked to leave a Starbucks on the Fourth of July following a customer’s complaint.
Harris, who alluded to a New York Times report indicating all parties involved were white and cited figures on fatal shootings by law enforcement, said he could understand why the customer were made to feel “a little unsafe” by the mere presence of officers.
“The police on average according to reports kill about 1,000 people a year since about 2015. It’s been in the 900s, 990s, in some cases. The majority of [police officers] are actually white men. So, I can understand, if this is a white guy, maybe him feeling a little uncomfortable, a little unsafe,” Harris said.
Host Laura Ingraham, asked Harris if he believed “police are killing people willy-nilly out on the streets,” and called his argument “ridiculous.”
But that was only the beginning of the tongue-lashing Harris would receive. Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and New York Police Department officer, barely managed to wait until Ingraham stopped speaking before unloading on the liberal Fox News guest.
“Is this guy serious?” he said. “What he just said was so dumb I’m surprised he said it on national television.”
“The worst day of your life is a use of force incident,” Bongino added.
Dan Bongino highlights a national conversation on law enforcement
In recent years, the existence of an epidemic of racially motivated and unlawful police killings of black men has become almost an article of faith in left-wing activist and intellectual circles.
A series of viral videos of shootings of black men, who have often turned out to be unarmed, has helped popularize the belief. So has former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to take a knee during the national anthem at NFL games to protest against police brutality.
At the same time, Black Lives Matter has become a major force in Democratic politics by advocating radical reforms to how black communities are policed, prosecuted and imprisoned. And the party’s presidential candidates, from Joe Biden to Sen. Kamala Harris of California, have seen their tough-on-crime records become a liability to their campaigns.
Nobody denies that the criminal justice system disproportionately affects the lives of black Americans. But it’s worth noting that the available data simply doesn’t bear out the notion that police are more eager to pull the trigger when they have a black man in their sights.