Update: Herschel Walker on Sunday defended the moment he flashed a police badge during Friday's debate with Raphael Warnock. The Georgia Republican tells NBC News, "This is from my hometown. This is from Johnson County from the sheriff from Johnson County, which is a legit badge." A CNN fact check found Walker has never worked in law enforcement. Our original story from Saturday follows:
There were some fiery moments during Friday evening's debate in Savannah, Ga., between Senate candidates Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, and Herschel Walker, the GOP contender. But the one that got the most online buzz came when the topic turned to crime, Warnock slammed Walker for past prevarications, and Walker pulled something interesting out of his pocket, reports HuffPost. "One thing I have not done, I've never pretended to be a police officer," Warnock said of his opponent, referring to past false statements Walker has made about how he'd worked with police in Cobb County.
That's when Walker could be seen reaching into his suit jacket pocket, declaring, "Now I have to respond to that," before presenting what looked to be some sort of police badge, which drew laughter from the audience. That move was apparently against previously agreed-upon rules, as one of the moderators immediately jumped in and asked Walker to "put that prop away"—to which he insisted, "It's not a prop. This is real."
"You're very well aware of the rules, aren't you?" the moderator retorted. Walker did eventually put the badge back in his pocket, and the moderator moved the debate along. The New York Times reports on other takeaways from the debate, including the candidates' thoughts about the legitimacy of elections and their sparring over abortion. (Read more Herschel Walker stories.)