CNN's Chris Cuomo warned a protester in Baltimore about a possible police overreaction on Wednesday's Anderson Cooper 360. Cuomo walked up to a line of demonstrators who were protesting the death of Freddie Gray, after his arrest by the city's police, and underlined that the police would go after them: "You got to know: walking toward the cops in the middle of the street – they're going to come at you."
When one of the protesters replied that they were going home, the journalist retorted, "Just be careful, because you know how they are. If you seem like you're being provocative towards them, you know how things can go." [video below]
Moments earlier, Cuomo, the son of a former governor of New York State, reported that the police showed up at his location after an altercation in the street between opposing gang members – some of whom were trying to keep the peace and get people to go home before the 10 pm curfew that was imposed after the riots on Monday. He then encountered the protesters, which ultimately resulted in his "you know how they are" remark:
ANDERSON COOPER: I want to go to Chris Cuomo. Chris, what's the situation now where you are in Baltimore?
CHRIS CUOMO: Yeah. All right. Now, we've had gang members who have been trying to be a force for good here. We had a group of Bloods linking arms to tell people it's time to go home – even though there was nobody in the street except them. And then, some – some opposing members got in their face. There was a little bit of a fracas in the middle for a while. And now – now, they're just – they're settling it down, and they're trying to line up to try and create some- (audio feed interrupted)
The problem is, Anderson, nobody should be in the street. And now, we have – Jay, come over this way – you just had armor show up. You have the police here in bigger numbers. They're getting ready to deploy. And when they saw the violence in the street, they're now shielding up, and they're getting ready to come up. So you have a situation now where you have people in the public space. The curfew is getting close. They're saying to go home – and they're pushing us forward – but them being in the street is going to be a problem.
I know they're saying, go home. They're saying, keep the peace; go home – but they're in the street and walking toward the cops. (protester chanting, "Going home, keep the peace!") You got to know: walking – walking toward the cops in the middle of the street – they're going to come at you.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We're going home. We're going home. We're going home-
CUOMO: All right. Just be-
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We're not going towards them. We're going to the side. We believe in keeping the peace. We're not out here to riot. We're not out here to cause havoc. We're keeping the peace. You see, right now, we're splitting up. Everyone split up on the side – we're walking down-
CUOMO: Just be careful, because you know how they are. If you seem like you're being provocative towards them, you know how things can go-
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Most definitely; most definitely. We're not here for that. We're going home, sir.
CUOMO: Be safe; be safe.
[H/t: CNN Commentary blog]