CNN's Don Lemon Pushed by Police During Live Shot

Monday, 18 Aug 2014 09:56 PM

By Greg Richter

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CNN's Don Lemon was physically pushed by a police officer Monday afternoon during a live shot from Ferguson, Missouri.

Anchor Brianna Keilar went to Lemon and asked, "What's the mood like there, Don?"

"I think we're about to be arrested because we're standing on the sidewalk," Lemon said, then pointed his microphone toward an officer and asked him a question.

"Move out of the way sir. Move!" the officer responded.

When Lemon said he had been standing at the spot all day, the officer continued telling him to move, and then began pushing him and the assembled crowd backward.

Lemon said the police had told the CNN crew and the protesters earlier to assemble at that spot.

Story continues below video.


"You can see exactly what the citizens are dealing with," Lemon said into the camera.

"Now you can see why people are so upset here. Because we've been here all day. They moved us here and told us this was our location.

"We're on national television," he continued after moving away from the officer. "Imagine what they're doing when people when you don't see on national television. The people who don't have a voice like we do. So that's what these officers are up to here."

Lemon said the people of the town feel like they are under occupation and are being intimidated by police officers.

"All of the sudden someone shows up, they don't like you standing on the street. The rules change, and then they move you," he said.

Another officer told Lemon that the protesters were being moved because of "traffic concerns." But Lemon told Keilar no one was in the street until police showed up and began moving them back.

He said CNN crews have seen protesters treated the same way, but it was the first time he had been involved.

"I'm glad it happened on camera so everybody could see it," he said.

CNN's Jake Tapper, who was reporting from just a few yards away, described the incident as a "wild fracas," and Lemon pointed out after a commercial break that police were standing in the middle of the street that they had told protesters to stay out of just minutes earlier.

He also pointed out that only one officer, the one who had pushed him, was actually physically confronting protesters. Other officers were simply telling people to move to a nearby parking lot.

"We know that these officers have a very tough job," Lemon said, and sometimes feel provoked. But he added that the protesters sometimes feel provoked as well.

Before the live shot was over, Lemon was informed by an unidentified man that media were being told to move to the other side of town. A photojournalist was arrested during the incident, but Lemon and his crew were never detained.

Protests have been ongoing in Ferguson since August 9 when a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death. A friend of the teen says 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. was killed while trying to surrender, but the officer says Brown was rushing toward him and refused orders to stop.

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