From Audience Protests, to Audio Issues and Candidate Complaints, Debate Night No. 2 Was an Eventful One for CNN

By A.J. Katz Comment

Night No. 2 of the CNN Democratic primary debate was far more, shall we say, “eventful,” than night No. 1.

Not only was the candidates’ rhetoric surprisingly fierce, but there was also fire among audience members.

Protesters brought the debate to a complete stop at one point, as they called for the New York City police officer who killed Eric Garner to be fired. An NYPD officer named Daniel Pantaleo placed Garner in a controversial chokehold (which goes against NYPD protocol) back in 2014, while Garner gasped, “I can’t breathe.”

Garner died after the move was made.

Shouts of “Fire Pantaleo!” came from the audience inside Detroit’s Fox Theater while New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker delivered their opening statements, forcing the moderators to bring the debate to a stop.

Pantaleo has been on paid modified duty for five years following his involvement in the death of Garner on Staten Island. A grand jury also declined to file charges against the NYPD officer in December 2014.

Then there was a second interruption later in the debate, which happened when multiple protesters heckled former vice president Joe Biden for the Obama administration’s record on immigration.

Democratic candidate Andrew Yang bashed what he feels are “reality TV show” types of debates. He also criticized the intro to CNN’s debate broadcast the previous night on Twitter.

“Instead of automation in our future, we’re up here with make-up on our faces and our rehearsed attack lines, playing roles in this reality TV show. It’s one reason why we elected a reality TV star as our president.

We need to be laser focused on solving the real challenges of today. If you care more about your family and your kids than my neckwear, enter your zipcode and see what $1,000 a month would mean to your community.”

There were a few audio issues during the debate.

Audio feedback could be heard throughout all of Sen. Kamala Harris’ opening statement.

Additionally, there were audio troubles when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand‘s was making remarks about healthcare.

Nielsen ratings for night No. 2 of the CNN debate will be released later today.

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