With the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center gripped by fiery protests for a second night in a row following the police killing of a 20-year-old unarmed Black man, angry protesters let cable news reporters know in no uncertain terms how they felt on Monday night.
In a remarkable exchange, one local demonstrator angrily told CNN correspondent Sara Sidner that the media’s presence in the town was making things “worse,” accusing the press of doing “extra shit to make people look crazier” during the protests over Daunte Wright’s killing.
Reporting that police had just shot a large amount of tear gas into a large crowd of demonstrators that defied curfew, Sidner was suddenly confronted by the protester, who objected to her presence there.
“You all be twisting up the story,” the man said as he passed Sidner during a live shot.
“Do you want to talk to me? Don’t take my mic,” she replied as the man reached out for her microphone. “We’re cool. What’s your name?”
“What’s my name? My name is my name,” he curtly replied.
Asked to give his thoughts about the current state of events, the man said that “all the press and all the extra shit you all do is make this worse,” prompting the CNN reporter to wonder aloud if he believes that to be true.
“What I think about this is all the press and all the extra shit y’all do makes this worse,” he shouted back. “You get what the fuck I’m saying?!”
Sidner eventually said she wanted the man to be careful, to which he replied: “Do I look like I’m scared?! You all need to get up out of here twisting up the media and shit!”
At one point, Sidner told the man they were “going to know each other,” offering to give him her phone number so they could talk at a later time.
“Talk about something that’s real,” he said, adding: “You all just going to edit out the shit and then y’all gonna edit out some other shit!”
“We’re live!” Sidner exclaimed.
“You’re not fucking live,” he responded, leading Sidner to reiterate that they were filming live on CNN.
“Then get away from here with all that media shit you’re doing,” the man shouted. “Take that camera all the way up there. You all doing all the extra shit to make people look crazier than what they are!”
That wasn’t the only tense confrontation between demonstrators and on-the-ground reporters. During his live dispatch near a Dollar Tree store that had been repeatedly looted, MSNBC’s Ron Allen found himself in the middle of a group of angry protesters.
After spending several minutes speaking with demonstrators, some of whom were visibly upset and told the MSNBC crew to “get the fuck out,” Allen appeared to be ready to throw the broadcast back to anchor Rachel Maddow.
“Rachel, all right, you heard all that. Some of it rational and obviously some of it very angry and passionate,” Allen said. “But the bottom line is that the people are out here in the street, they’re not going anywhere.”
At that point, one young Black man came up behind Allen and started yelling “fuck the police,” prompting the MSNBC reporter to pull him aside to talk on camera.
“Easy. Easy. Hey, what do you want to see happen?” Allen asked the protester.
“What do I want to see happen?” the young man said as he tried to grab Allen’s microphone. “I want these bitch-ass n---ers to stop killing innocent Black people!”
As the protester continued to shout, Maddow jumped in to cut the exchange short and forestall further profanity.
“We’re going to cut in because we have a responsibility in terms of the language and I’m sorry to have to cut in on you there, Ron, but there’s certain things we can broadcast and certain things that we can’t,” Maddow informed her viewers.