CNN Camera Crew Attacked, Camera Broken While Filming Rioters Allegedly Burning Down A Wendy’s In Atlanta


A CNN camera crew was harassed, attacked and one of their cameras was broken with a skateboard as they attempted to record rioters who were allegedly burning down a Wendy’s restaurant in Atlanta after a black man was killed there the night before by police.

CNN reporter Natasha Chen: “A photojournalist, our producer, and I were trying to get a 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. So, the journalist’s camera and to block my cell phone [to prevent us] from taking video. And at that point they 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.”

TRANSCRIPT:

CNN REPORTER NATASHA CHEN: “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. So, the journalist’s camera and to block my cell phone [to prevent us] from taking video. And at that point they 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. So, a lot of different reactions as to whether or not that was the right choice go after the Wendy’s building.”

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CNN HOST WOLF BLITZER: “So, I just want to be clear, Natasha. You were there, you had a photojournalist, you also had a producer, there were three of you. Did you have any security with you?”

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CHEN: “One, yes. The one security person who [was] helping us out, just another set of eyes to keep a look out for us. And, I think, actually I should back up a little bit, I think we had two photojournalists actually, um, one with the camera and another person who was operating our live view that [is the] broadcast to all of you, to broadcast the images to you. So, there was four or five of us and it just got a bit chaotic in the moment. I was trying to record cell phone while one of the photojournalists was recording video on his camera, the next thing I know I’m turning around and I see these two protesters really going after the camera and that’s when I was told that we should get out of there.”

BLITZER: “And they broke your camera which is obviously very disturbing. First of all, Natasha, are you and our CNN colleagues and friends, are you okay?”

CHEN: “I believe that we are. I’ve heard from our producer. I think we [inaudible] in the immediate moment have to leave and, of course, because of the various road blockages, we all kind of had to go in slightly different directions.”

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