While hosting a town hall called "Black and White in America," Lemon was prompted to share an anecdote from his time in Ferguson, where the Missouri National Guard was deployed earlier this week to quell the violent protests that have erupted since the fatal police shooting of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown.
"I’m just going to be honest with you," said Lemon, who is black. "Last night, one of my producers said that they — I won’t say if it’s a he or she because I don’t want to give anyone away — said they came in contact with one of the members of the National Guard and that they said, ‘You want to get out of here because you’re white because these n-words, you never know what they’re going to do.’ True story. I kid you not. 2014, a member of the National Guard. And my producer doesn’t lie. It is a true story.”
Lemon himself had an unpleasant encounter with authorities on the ground in Ferguson. While reporting on-air on Monday, Lemon was pushed by a police officer who was trying to corral the anchor away from an area.