CNN Anchor Don Lemon: 'I Feel Safe' in Ferguson Chaos Because of Strong Police Presence

CNN Anchor Don Lemon: 'I Feel Safe' in Ferguson Chaos Because of Strong Police Presence

After chaos broke out in Ferguson, Missouri on Sunday evening, CNN anchor Don Lemon said he felt safe because he was close to the strong police presence.

“But right now I feel safe because we have so much presence. And the police officers are right across the street,” he said after the scene calmed down a bit, noting that those who are causing trouble had been pushed back into the neighborhoods.

Lemon said he has been carrying around a gas mask and even a helmet for protection. 

“So if someone throws something this goes on me immediately,” he said. “You may look silly but this is to protect our head from rubber bullets or whatever someone may be throwing.”

Mainstream media journalists have been blasting the militarization of local police forces, but they realized during the chaos that there are times when a stronger police presence may be needed. CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that one news crew even had their own private security. Police also arrested three journalists and reported to shoot a videographer during the chaos. 

Rioters looted multiple stores throughout Ferguson and even reportedly fired at police, forcing the stronger response. They also hurled rocks–and epithets–at police throughout the night. Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said rioters engaged in “premeditated criminal acts designed to damage property, hurt people, provoke a response.” After instituting another midnight curfew, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) order the National Guard to Ferguson on Monday.

Here are some scenes from the chaos: