CNN guest David Peisner caught flak Saturday for claiming that the only violence taking place in the fiery uproar underway in Atlanta is being instigated by police.
“I think that there’s a real blurring of the lines in the use of the word violence. Is property destruction violence? To some people it certainly is. But, you know, this idea that breaking windows or other acts of property destruction are the same as actual violence against humans, it’s kind of a dangerous and slippery concept,’” he told CNN’s Pamela Brown Saturday on “CNN Newsroom.”
“You keep using these words ‘violent, violent, violent, violent’… The only acts of violence against people that I saw were actually police tackling protesters,” he added.
Peisner further suggested the group of rioters was “small” and that people involved in the incident were acting apart from the “Defend the Forest” movement memorializing 26-year-old activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, who was killed in a gunfire exchange Wednesday after allegedly firing at Georgia state troopers.
“As the chief himself said, this is a small group,” he said. “Also, within this ‘Defend the Forest’ movement, there are no leaders, so people kind of go off and do their own thing,” he said.
Libs of TikTok took to Twitter to share video of the on-air exchange, captioning, “CNN’s guest suggests we shouldn’t use the word “violent” to describe the Antifa riots in Atlanta tonight. Antifa is currently destroying buildings and setting police cars on fire.”
“Of course they did. What a joke,” writer Lisa René LeClair commented.
“Our current president said Antifa is ‘an idea,'” podcast host Tony Mazur added.
A third critic, photographer David Esquire, wrote, “But remember, it’s ‘mostly peaceful’ Like what they did to my neighbourhood in Uptown, Minneapolis.”
Others chimed in by sharing past CNN headlines of the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted following the 2020 death of George Floyd, labeling them as “mostly peaceful” as flames engulfed the backdrop.
Some mockingly tweeted, “fiery, but mostly peaceful.”
Chaos ensued in Atlanta following Teran’s death as once-peaceful protests descended into riots and instigators aimed fireworks and three rocks at the Atlanta Police Foundation building.
Others demonstrators fire to an Atlanta police vehicle and smashed windows as chaos ensued.
One state trooper was injured during the shootout when a bullet struck his bulletproof vest, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). He is recovering from surgery following the incident.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, R., condemned the violence along with Atlanta city officials Saturday.
“While the state continues to respect peaceful protest, acts of violence against person or property will not be tolerated. Those committing such unlawful acts will be arrested and prosecuted fully,” Kemp said.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens reaffirmed that the city “will not tolerate” the violence seen during Saturday’s incident.
Fox News’ Emma Colton and Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.