Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs is defending a Rhode Island detention center guard who accelerated his truck into a line of anti-Immigration and Customs Enforcement protesters and allegedly left one with a broken leg, claiming he was “within his rights.”
During his Thursday night broadcast, Dobbs ― a fervent supporter of President Donald Trump, who regularly tunes into his show ― spoke with former ICE acting director Tom Homan, the two echoing each other’s praise for the embattled agency.
“I know that it must just gladden your heart to see a bunch of demonstrators at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility blocking the path of a guard and then are complaining about the fact that he sought to do what is within his rights, which is to proceed to park his vehicle and go to work,” Dobbs told Homan.
“Exactly,” Homan replied, adding, “ICE employees are on edge, they’re under attack.”
Lou Dobbs says an ICE agent was "within his rights" to drive his car into a group of peaceful protestors pic.twitter.com/FHC72F08nV
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) August 15, 2019
Homan argued conditions are becoming increasingly dangerous for the department’s agents, citing a Tuesday morning shooting at ICE offices in San Antonio, Texas, in which an employee was nearly killed, though no one was injured. He also pointed to an attack last month on a detention facility in Tacoma, Washington, where a man who had brought an assault rifle and attempted to set fire to the facility was killed by police.
However, on Wednesday night, a row of demonstrators sat peacefully outside Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, a far cry from the violent examples Homan invoked during his interview. Footage of the event shows the man behind the wheel of the approaching truck ― a Wyatt corrections officer ― plowing his vehicle into the crowd, which was attempting to stop him from entering the parking lot.
At least five of the protestors who are part of Never Again Action, a Jewish activist group, were treated for injuries at an area hospital, including one who sustained a broken leg, according to Natalie Lerner, a 23-year-old member of the organization who spoke with HuffPost.
Demonstrators were also pepper-sprayed by detention center guards, the group said.
This is the line of people that an ICE Detention Center guard tried to drive through with his truck. We are still trying to figure out what all the injuries are😢And the rest of us are trying to get the pepper spray out of our eyes. pic.twitter.com/HPzpyRCGhm
— ✡️ Never Again Action ✡️ (@NeverAgainActn) August 15, 2019
In a statement issued Thursday, the Rhode Island attorney general’s office said it is working with state police to investigate the incident.
“Peaceful protest is a fundamental right of all Americans; it is unfortunate last night’s situation unfolded as it did,” it said. “We urge all to exercise restraint as our investigation proceeds.”
The officer, identified as Capt. Thomas Woodworth, has been placed on administrative leave, the Providence Journal reported.
Fox Business Network did not respond to HuffPost’s repeated requests for comment on Dobbs.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.