The Democratic debate on Wednesday got off to a rocky start when Cory Booker’s opening statement was interrupted by chants from the audience — and the senator from New Jersey promptly applauded the hecklers’ democratic spirit on Twitter.
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The hecklers called out, “Fire Pantaleo!” — a reference to Daniel Pantaleo, the New York police officer involved in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner, whose dying words, “I can’t breathe,” became a national rallying cry for demonstrations about police treatment of minorities.
The chant was also shouted during New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s opening statement, but the mayor spoke over it.
Minutes later, Booker took to Twitter to say “good for you” to the protests.
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Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker delivers his opening statement during the second round of the second Democratic primary debate in Detroit, July 31, 2019.
And soon after, de Blasio also thanked the protesters.