CNN’s Chris Cuomo was widely criticized on Twitter on Sunday night after he tweeted about the migrant caravan being tear-gassed, offering a defense of police in the situation by saying the “point is to not demonize the men and women in duty without cause.”
Many remarked that the comments from the news host were in line with the “Nuremberg defense” ― a plea in a court of law that a person, like a police officer or a member of the military, should not be held guilty for actions they carried out at the request of a superior officer or an official.
“I have seen lots of people, kids, elderly gassed. I have been gassed. It sucks,” Cuomo tweeted. “The situation sucks but the point is to not demonize the men and women in duty without cause and to address the problems that lead to them facing this overwhelming group of people who deserve help.”
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency on Sunday fired several canisters of gas at hundreds of migrants after they attempted to get through gaps or scale fences at the border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico, and San Diego, California. The border crossing was subsequently shut down for several hours.
The use of the tear gas caused children from the caravan to scream and cough, The Associated Press reported. Another report indicated that the mayhem led to one woman collapsing unconscious and two babies sobbing from the gas.
Many journalists and supporters of the immigrants seeking asylum lambasted Cuomo for his argument:
Cuomo tweeted quite a bit more on Sunday night, emphasizing that he did not agree with President Donald Trump’s immigration policy and that he wanted people to know that many law enforcement agents at the border are acting “out of pathos as much as out of a duty protect.”
“My point is just to say that all of CBP is not to blame. Find the facts of who did what and go from there. That’s what we are doing,” he wrote in one tweet.
Clarification: A previous version of this story suggested Cuomo is currently the host of “New Day.” He is the former host of “New Day,” and currently hosts “Cuomo Prime Time.”