A CNN reporter was attacked by a rioter during the protests in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The incident, filmed live, showed Ed Lavandera getting knocked down by a man who rammed into him with his shoulder. “Ed, are you OK,” anchor Anderson Cooper asked on the air. “Yeah yeah, we’re fine, Anderson,” he responded.
“Just someone taking out their frustration on me,” Lavandera says. “Ed, if you need to leave that location, that’s fine—just let us know,” Cooper said.
“We’re gonna figure out what to do here, Anderson, just give us a second,” he responded.
— Asim Yousafzai, Ph.D (@asimusafzai) September 22, 2016
About 15 minutes later, he went back on-air, saying: “All I heard was someone yelling at me that I need to, quote, tell the truth. The next thing you know, I got kinda blindsided.”
“Oddly enough, I’m trying to find the guy, who just came up to me a few moments ago and told me he was the one that knocked me out. I didn’t see the guy,” he elaborated.
“He came up to me and actually hugged me and apologized for what he had done. I asked him what had happened, what had made him so angry, and he didn’t really explain anything. I’ve lost him now; I’m trying to find him again. Kind of another odd moment in this surreal evening.”
Following two nights of protests and riots, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency in Charlotte, sending in the National Guard and Highway Patrol.
At least 16 police officers have been injured during the riots. One civilian is in critical condition after being shot by another person.
The protests were sparked when a Charlotte police officer, identified as Brentley Vinson, shot and killed 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, meanwhile, called for calm.
“The events that we saw last night are not the Charlotte I know and love,” she said during a press conference. “They are not reflective of our community, of the deep-seated traditions we have of collaboration and peace.”