CNN anchor Don Lemon got emotional on live TV Wednesday night while talking about the Trump-supporting mob that stormed the Capitol earlier this year. In particular, Lemon was caught off guard by new video footage of D.C. Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone being brutally attacked by rioters.
The video, which Lemon played on his CNN show, is taken from Fanone’s body camera footage. It captures a chaotic and violent scene, and Fanone can be heard screaming in pain as protestors attack him with his own stun gun and beat him with a flagpole. At one point Fanone desperately yells, “I have kids,” which seemed to finally get through some of the attackers and ward them off. Then, after Fanone passes out, his camera captures his fellow officers bringing him to a safe zone.
Lemon took a minute to compose himself on-air after the clip ended, and told viewers he hadn’t seen the footage before it aired on his show.
“That is the first time I’ve watched that, I usually turn it off before it gets to that point,” Lemon said. “I had not seen that part.”
Addressing the riot specifically, Lemon criticized people pushing the untrue narrative that the insurrection, incited by Trump in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election, either didn’t happen or somehow wasn’t as bad as it actually was. “For all the people who are ‘hugs and kisses, it didn’t happen’… come on. That is the reality of what happened to officer Michael Fanone that day; dragged down the steps, tased with his own weapon,” Lemon said.
“Knocked unconscious and when he came to all he wanted to know was ‘did we take the door back,’ referring to the struggle he was part of inside the tunnel fighting alongside officers trying to stop insurrectionists from taking the Capitol. It was incredible… a hero, like I said,” Lemon concluded.
Check out the full clip from CNN below.