CNN has been attacked once again while covering Black Lives Matters protests and riots, but this time instead of the network's usual awkward attempt to paint the mayhem evidently all around them as "peaceful", there was a rare candid moment they were admitted to be "aggressive".
It happened late Saturday following the deadly Friday night shooting of a 27-year-old black man, Rayshard Brooks, at a Wendy's restaurant in Atlanta. As we reported, Brooks, who had fallen asleep at the wheel at the Wendy's drive-thru, was shot by an officer after he grabbed one of their Tasers and pointed it at them as he was running away. He died later that evening at Grady Memorial Hospital.
Moments after rioters descended on the Wendy's location Saturday night, a CNN crew of four showed up (and one security guard accompanying) and they were harassed and came under attack. “We were trying to get video of what was happening, and there were protesters who were very angry that we were recording this and tried to block our cameras,” CNN national correspondent Natasha Chen detailed on air.
CNN crew attacked in Atlanta pic.twitter.com/dziVvHM6Lf— Daniel Chaitin (@danielchaitin7) June 14, 2020
“At that point they got aggressive and our CNN camera was broken,” she described, after which she said her crew had to swiftly exit the area, fearing for their safety. It apparently involved a physical alteration before the news crew fled.
Subsequent overhead shots of the chaotic overnight scene showed a dangerous, lawless situation unfolding.
#BREAKING: CNN crew attacked by protesters outside Wendy’s in #Atlanta where a Black man was shot by police. CNN it’s time to send your crews out to record w/ phones becuz a big TV camera attracts those who want to do you harm. #AtlantaPolice #BLM pic.twitter.com/nZMM8J6hBs— Rebecca Aguilar (@RebeccaAguilar) June 14, 2020
It appeared that protests and riots that gripped dozens of American cities in the two weeks after George Floyd's death after being choked out by a Minneapolis police officer, which also included mass looting, had actually lost significant steam.
But Rayshard Brooks' death and what's sure to be a coming week of raging controversy over how it happened and who's at fault — controversy which has already resulted in Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields announcing she'll be be stepping down following the incident — is likely to spark a new major round of nationwide unrest.