A CNN camera crew was attacked outside an Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant, which later burned down on Saturday night during riots sparked by the officer-involved shooting of a black man.
CNN reporter Natasha Chen confirmed on Twitter that one of the camera crew members was attacked by a person with a skateboard. She later told anchor Wolf Blitzer that a security official advised them to leave because the situation was escalating.
This is when people started breaking the glass at Wendy’s. You can hear “block the camera” being shouted at my colleagues, while another person tried to block my cell phone video. The people blocking our photojournalists ending up taking a skateboard to that camera. pic.twitter.com/A5Oipl6Gfz
— Natasha Chen (@NatashaChenCNN) June 14, 2020
“A photojournalist, our producer, and I were trying to get video of what was happening and there were protesters very angry that we were recording this and tried to block our cameras, to block us,” Chen said on the broadcast. “So, the journalist’s camera and to block my cell phone [to prevent us] from taking video.”
She said that the rioters then “got aggressive and our camera, our CNN camera was broken, and so we as a crew decided to step out of that area so right now, you know, we’ve left the immediate area but that [inaudible] and I could see there were other people in the crowd asking why are they doing this while others were egging them on.”
The video footage was shared widely on Twitter.
It came after an Atlanta police officer was fired and another officer was placed on administrative duty following the fatal shooting of a black man, the police department announced early Sunday.
The moves follows the Saturday resignation of Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, who stepped down as the Friday night killing of Rayshard Brooks, 27, sparked a new wave of protests in Atlanta after turbulent demonstrations following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police had simmered down.
The terminated officer was identified as Garrett Rolfe, who was hired in October 2013, and the officer placed on administrative duty is Devin Brosnan, who was hired in September 2018, according to a release from police spokesperson Sgt. John Chafee.
Video footage of the scene from multiple angles shows Brooks failed a sobriety test, resisted arrest, assaulted a police officer, stole his Taser, and fled before turning around and pointing the Taser at Rolfe, who alleged he fired the Taser at him. Rolfe responded by drawing his firearm and shooting three times, killing him.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.