11/07/2013 08:45 am ET Updated Nov 07, 2013

Don Lemon: Stop And Frisk Comments Were 'Misinterpreted'

Don Lemon defended himself after his controversial remarks about the NYPD's stop and frisk practices caused a Twitter revolt.

The CNN host drew a huge wave of backlash after talking about the reviled practice during a radio commentary. Though he said that police officers were usually not polite to people they were stopping, and were prone to abusing their authority, he concluded by asking listeners, "would you rather be politically correct or safe and alive?"

That line prompted a Twitter hashtag and such tweets as "Don Lemon on Bulimia : would you rather look great or be a big ole fatty?" and "Don Lemon on Slavery: would you rather be free and unemployed or have a home and a job?"

In response, Lemon said Wednesday that his comments were in no way an endorsement of the procedure. He told Richard Prince's Journal-isms, "I am not supporting stop-and-frisk," and that his comments have been "grossly misinterpreted."

As for the "politically correct" line, Lemon said he was trying to make people "think": "What happens when people's rights are violated? Are you going to decide based on political correctness?"



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