CNN Reporter Body Slammed on Live TV by Rioter in Charlotte

As Wednesday night's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN was giving live coverage to the riots in Charlotte, North Carolina, correspondent Ed Lavandera was knocked to the ground by a rioter on live television at 9:16 p.m. ET as he recalled that police had just recently used tear gas to get rioters to move further from the Omni Hotel.

After noting that his team had been helping to supply water to other journalists, he began to fill viewers in on police actions toward the rioters. Lavandera:

But those police lines pushing the crowd back away from that Omni Hotel area, which has obviously been the center of a lot of the violence tonight and trying to push that crowd back there. They were trying to get various people, agitators out of the crowd, and these other people came in to try to grab those people-

At this point, a man rushed up to the CNN reporter, knocked him down, and kept running. After a few seconds, Lavandera got up, and, after being asked by Cooper if he was okay, responded: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're fine, Anderson, we're fine. Just someone taking out their frustrations on me."

Cooper then suggested that his colleague might want to relocate to a safer place, with Lavandera agreeing.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, September 21, Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN:

ANDERSON COOPER: Ed Lavandera, who's on the ground there. Ed, clearly the police have brought in reinforcements. I mean,the police line we're seeing -- at least one of those police lines is much larger than the police lines that we have seen certainly at the entrance to the Omni before.

ED LAVANDERA: Well, there's no question, that line, we're just off to the side of it. We're helping some of our colleagues here, Anderson, who are in the middle of that, giving them water. But those police lines pushing the crowd back away from that Omni Hotel area, which has obviously been the center of a lot of the violence tonight and trying to push that crowd back there. They were trying to get various people, agitators out of the crowd, and these other people came in to try to grab those people-

[A man charges into the field of view and collides with Lavandera, knocking him to the ground]

COOPER: Ed, are you okay?

LAVANDERA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're fine, Anderson, we're fine. Just someone taking out their frustrations on me.

COOPER: If you need to leave that location, Ed, that's fine. Just let us know.

LAVANDERA: Yeah, we're going to -- we're going to figure out what to do here. Give us a second, Anderson, to figure it out.

COOPER: Yeah, we'll check back in with you in a little bit. You take care of yourself and your crew.

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