Herschel Walker scolded by debate moderator for using a prop

After whipping out what many are calling a fake police badge, the moderator asked Walker to please put it away

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published October 14, 2022 9:50PM (EDT)

U.S. Republican Senate candidate for Georgia, Herschel Walker speaks at a campaign event on September 9, 2022 in Gwinnett, Georgia (Megan Varner/Getty Images)
U.S. Republican Senate candidate for Georgia, Herschel Walker speaks at a campaign event on September 9, 2022 in Gwinnett, Georgia (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

After Friday's debate with Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, Herschel Walker can now relate to what it felt like when I was ridiculed by my entire fifth-grade class after bringing my great grandmother's onyx ring to school and telling everyone that I was a witch and the ring was, somehow, proof.

Mid-way through their one and only debate before November's midterm elections, which took place in Savannah, Walker produced what many are calling a "fake" or "toy" police badge from where it was kept inside his blazer. Wielding the badge, Walker was met with both laughter from the debate's attendees, and a tongue lashing from the moderator.

"One thing I have not done, I've never pretended to be a police officer," said Warnock during the debate. "And I've never threatened a shoot-out with the police."

That comment made by Warnock was in reference to a 2001 incident in Irving, Texas where police received a call from Walker's therapist alerting them to the fact that Walker was "armed and scaring his estranged wife at the suburban Dallas home they no longer shared," according to Huffington Post. When police arrived at the scene they reportedly ordered Walker out of the home and stated that he'd made comments about "having a shoot-out." Walker's wife filed for divorce months later.

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"I have to respond to that," Walker said during Friday's debate, reaching into his coat to pull out his prop. "You know what's so funny? "I am work with many police officers [sic]." 

At this point the moderator intervened to remind Walker that the use of props is against the rules at debates.

"Excuse me, Mr. Walker," the moderator said. "Please, out of respect, I need to let you know . . . you are very well aware of the rules tonight; and you have a prop. That is not allowed sir. I ask you to put that prop away."

"It's not a prop," Walker said. "This is real."

"Holy s**t. Senator Warnock pointed out that Herschel Walker lied about being a police officer and Walker pulled out an "honorary deputy badge" on stage, insisting he is a cop. Walker is not well," Tweeted political podcaster Brian Tyler Cohen

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Walker has made several previous claims about being in law enforcement and that "he majored in criminal justice during his time at the University of Georgia and was an honorary deputy in Cobb County along with three other Georgia counties." The Cobb County Police Department state, per AJC's reporting, they have no record of involvement with Walker. 

By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

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