'Hands Up, Don't Shoot': A Lie Or Truth? CNN Debates.

03/20/2015 09:51 am ET

CNN's Don Lemon hosted a debate Thursday night on the continuing controversy over "hands up, don't shoot," the phrase that has become a symbol following the police killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

The conversation came just after the Washington Post published a story this week titled "‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was built on a lie."

Since Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted in November for the killing of 18-year-old Brown, the gesture has continued to gain momentum. The four words have become a symbol to stand up against police violence.

Kevin Jackson weighed in first on Thursday night, visibly frustrated by the slogan.

"The fact that it was built on a lie, the fact that people continue to want to propagate the lie, the fact that they've embarrassed the city of Ferguson and the great people there ... all the things leading into Ferguson -- the statistics -- all lies," he said.

Other panelists disagreed.

"Hands up is the ultimate truth," Communities United for Police Reform's Monifa Bandele responded, adding that the gesture is so widely used because it is "a posture known to black people.”

The dialogue escalated when criminologist and professor David Klinger argued that there was "physical evidence" that Brown stepped towards Officer Wilson once both men were outside of the vehicle. Bandele fired back that witnesses were never cross-examined and that the "physical evidence" was not evaluated in a public trial.

"Do you not trust General Holder?" Klinger asked.

Brian Stelter pointed out that many people who were too intimidated to speak were left out of the mass media coverage. But Jackson jumped back in to say that some people who did speak up, were not telling the truth.

"Many people were blatantly lying," he said. "They blatantly lied about Darren Wilson."

Back in December, Lemon questioned "Hands up, don't shoot" on air, wondering if it was a "false narrative."

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