A CNN crew was attacked outside the Atlanta, Georgia, Wendy’s where 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was killed in a confrontation with police on Friday evening, as rioters began attacking and setting fire to the restaurant Saturday night.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms had already announced that police Chief Erika Shields was resigning over the incident, in which Brooks allegedly resisted arrest, seized an officer’s taser, and ran away before being shot three times.
Nevertheless, unrest broke out in the city, with a large group blocking Interstate 75 and another group setting fire to the Wendy’s. CNN was to film what it called “protests” as masked individuals attacked the Wendy’s, trying to destroy it.
CNN’s Natasha Chen later recounted to Wolf Blitzer: “There were protesters very angry that we were recording this, and tried to block our cameras … and at that point they got aggressive, and our CNN camera was broken.” Chen added that the “protesters” had also tried to stop her from filming with her personal cell phone. She and her crew left the area.
#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
CNN is based in Atlanta. Its headquarters were vandalized during protests of the death of George Floyd on May 29.
Mainstream news networks, including CNN, have described the protests of the last three weeks as “mostly peaceful,” though reporters from a variety of outlets — including MSNBC, Fox News, Breitbart News, and now CNN — have been attacked while trying to document the unrest.
However, the networks have largely downplayed these attacks, and few journalists have dared condemn the attacks. Instead, they have focused on covering the safest demonstrations.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.