CNN’s Jake Tapper became verbally exasperated on air late Monday night, as protesters and police engaged in a standoff in a third consecutive night of tension in Ferguson, Missouri.
Tapper displayed a sense of disgust when describing the overall absurdity of the situation, especially the police’s show of force toward protesters who didn’t appear to be doing anything threatening. He twice compared the situation to times he reported from a war zone in Afghanistan.
“The protesters have moved all the way down there,” Tapper said on air, pointing to a clear distance between police and protesters. “Nobody is threatening anything. Nobody is doing anything. None of the stores here that I can see are being looted. There is no violence.”
Tapper then took his cameraman to examine the police’s show of force.
“Now I want you to look at what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri — in downtown America, OK?” he said. “These are armed police, with semi-automatic rifles, with batons, with shields, many of them dressed for combat.
“Now why they’re doing this? I don’t know. Because there is no threat going on here. None that merits this. There is none, OK? Absolutely there have been looters. Absolutely, over the last nine days there’s been violence. But there is nothing going on on this street right now that merits this scene out of Bagram. Nothing.
“So if people wonder why the people of Ferguson, Missouri, are so upset, this is part of the reason. What is this? This doesn’t make any sense.”
Monday night was the first in three nights that there wasn’t a midnight curfew in Ferguson, after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) lifted it earlier in the day. Nixon also announced he sent members of the National Guard to Ferguson in an attempt to “provide protection” and ensure the safety of a police command center in the town.
The curfew imposed by Nixon had re-ignited violence in the town after relative calm during the latter portion of the week. Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, has been the site of racially charged protests since the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
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