CNN’s Laura Coates Recounts Seeing Man Set Himself On Fire Outside Trump Trial Courthouse: ‘Unbelievably Disgusting’

by Gee NY
CNN's Laura Coates Reflects on Shocking Courthouse Incident

On Friday, April 19, CNN anchor Laura Coates found herself unexpectedly thrust into a harrowing situation outside the Manhattan courthouse, where the trial involving former President Donald Trump was unfolding.

Coates recounted the terrifying moments when a man, identified as Max Azzarello from Florida, set himself on fire just feet away from her, sending shockwaves through the surrounding crowd.

“My mouth married with my eyes. But my eyes…I wish I could unsee it. My nose wishes to un-smell it. My heart breaks for that man and his family. But my mind, it has the same questions you have: who is this man?” she recounted her experience in a monologue during her show, Laura Coates Live.

Coates had been standing outside the courthouse, engaged in conversation with a jury consultant when the unimaginable unfolded amid screams and panic among bystanders.

In the current climate of heightened awareness about gun violence, initial fears of an active shooter quickly gave way to the grim reality of a man engulfed in flames, Coates said.

Drawing from her background as a former federal prosecutor familiar with the inner workings of courtrooms, Coates revealed she grappled with the shock and horror of bearing witness to such a traumatic event.

The man’s self-immolation and subsequent death have been described as a protest linked to his conspiratorial beliefs.

“He happened to be someone we thought was milling around earlier and throughout the week near the courthouse where we were…Police say he was a conspiracy theorist, and while his conspiracies run the gamut, they didn’t centre around Trump or Biden,” said Coates.

The CNN news anchor concluded her monologue by stating that despite the emotional toll of the experience, she acknowledges the necessity of returning to the trial proceedings.

She reaffirmed her commitment to delivering the news with professionalism and integrity.

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