Journalists arrested and assaulted 5/31
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At uprisings in response to officer killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, police target journalists

Viral videos showed many instances of police brutality at demonstrations; many of these instances targeted journalists

Update (6/4/20, 6/15/20): This post has been reorganized by location and updated with more instances of journalists being targeted across the U.S. We will update the list as the protests continue.

George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. In the days since, an uprising against systemic and racist police violence has spread across the country. The uprising has also focused on EMT Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13. That uprising has been met with police brutality, and in many of the instances, police have targeted and even arrested journalists covering these events.

Police continued to target journalists across the country throughout the protests. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker has recorded over 400 potential incidents of press freedom violations since protests began. More news of journalists being arrested, pepper-sprayed, and shot at with various projectiles and other forms of abuse continued to pile up from across the country.

This list is in no way meant to dismiss or minimize police violence against people who are not journalists. To the contrary, all demonstrators deserve equal protection against state violence under the First Amendment. Rather, the purpose here is to document that journalists have frequently been singled out by police, especially after a yearslong right-wing campaign to attack the entire news media.

Bellingcat has done a tremendous job in tracking these events as well, and its lists have been instrumental in compiling ours.

  • Birmingham, Alabama

    • The Root senior writer Michael Harriot tweeted that he was arrested while covering protests in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Little Rock, Arkansas

    • KATV reporters Paige Cushman and Kaitlin Barger were detained by Little Rock, Arkansas, police despite repeatedly identifying themselves as press and showing their credentials. Police also detained Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Josh Snyder.
  • Long Beach, California

    • KPCC public radio reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez tweeted photos of his neck after a police officer “aimed and shot” at him with a rubber bullet while he was covering protests in Long Beach. 
  • Los Angeles, California

    • Cerise Castle, a producer with radio station KCRW, tweeted that she was shot with rubber bullets while covering protests in Los Angeles.
    • Host of the news podcast District 34 Tina-Desiree Berg posted on Twitter that police shot at her car while she was covering protests in Los Angeles on May 30.
    • Pulitzer prize winning photographer Barbara Davidson tweeted she was pushed to the ground by Los Angeles police after identifying herself as press. She said that the police hit her “so hard that I went flying before crashing to the ground and hitting the back of my head on a fire hydrant.” 
  • Oakland California

    • Oakland police handcuffed and detained local CBS reporter Katie Nielsen during the June 1 protests despite her press pass being “clearly visible.” Nielsen posted a statement on Facebook in which she wrote, “This story isn’t just about me. It’s about the journalists across the country whose work is being silenced in a much bigger way.”
  • San Diego, California

    • San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Andrew Dyer tweeted that he was hit by some projectiles apparently fired by police.
  • San Francisco, California

    • Mercury News reporter Leonardo Castaneda tweeted that on the night of May 31 he was zip-tied and searched by San Francisco police even though he identified himself as press.
  • San Jose, California

    • Mercury News reporter Maggie Angst tweeted that on the night of May 31 San Jose police forced her to the ground and threatened them even though they repeatedly identified themselves as press.
    • San Jose Spotlight journalist Luke Johnson was detained by police alongside Angst despite identifying himself as a reporter. Police left shortly after forcing both journalists to the ground.
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado

    • Spencer Wilson, reporter for local CBS affiliate KKTV, and another local photographer were targeted with pepper spray by police even though they were standing where the police had earlier directed them to. 
  • Denver, Colorado

    • Adi Guajardo, a reporter with Denver’s KMGH, tweeted that a photographer covering the protests with her in Denver was hit by police officers firing paintballs on May 29.
    • Denverite’s Dave Sachs wrote on Twitter that he was shoved by police and later tear-gassed while covering protests in Denver on May 30.
    • Denver Post reporter Alex Burness tweeted just after midnight on June 1 that he and Colorado Public Radio reporter Esteban Hernandez were blocked by police and forced to move back through tear gas even though they made known they were journalists. The New York Times’ Jack Healy tweeted a photo of a bruise Burness sustained from a kinetic impact round.
  • Washington, D.C.

    • CNN reporter Alex Marquardt and crew were targeted by pepper spray while on air through a fence near Lafayette Park on June 2 despite repeatedly yelling “press.”
  • Dover, Delaware

    • Dover Post staff writer and photographer Andre Lamar was arrested by Delaware State Police while covering a protest despite repeatedly identifying himself as being with the press. He was released without charges.
  • Miami, Florida

    • Joel Franco, social media producer for local station WSVN, tweeted he was arrested and charged with violating curfew even though he had press credentials and the press was supposed to be exempt from the curfew.
  • St. Petersburg, Florida

    • Tampa Bay Times reporter Jay Cridlin tweeted that he was briefly detained by St. Petersburg police and zip-tied while filming protests on the night of June 2.
  • Tampa, Florida

    • On June 2, Tampa Bay Times reporter Divya Kumar was detained by Tampa police, who zip-tied her hands behind her back despite her press pass. An officer also reportedly used a bike to push her to the ground.
  • Atlanta, Georgia

    • Atlanta Journal Constitution staff photographer Alyssa Pointer was detained by officers of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources on June 1. Pointer “said her press badge was clearly displayed, and she identified herself to law enforcement.”
    • Freelance journalist for The Washington Post Haisten Willis, a former president of the Georgia Society of Professional Journalists, was also arrested and detained by Atlanta police. 
  • Chicago, Illinois

    • Freelance reporter Jonathan Ballew posted a video to Twitter showing police pepper-spraying him in Chicago while he covered protests on May 30.
  • Indianapolis, Indiana

    • Eric Weddle, a reporter with radio station WFYI, posted a video to Twitter showing a police officer pointing a weapon at a photographer in Indianapolis on May 29.
  • Des Moines, Iowa

    • Photojournalist for the Des Moines Register Bryon Houlgrave tweeted a photo of the bruise he received from being hit with a rubber bullet during the May 31 protests. 
    • Des Moines Register reporter Katie Akin tweeted a video of being pepper-sprayed by police while yelling she was with the Register in the early morning of June 2. 
  • Louisville, Kentucky

    • Reporter Kaitlin Rust and photojournalist James Dobson were shot with pepper balls by police in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 29. WAVE 3 News posted a video of the incident.
  • Worcester, Massachusetts

    • Independent journalist Sam Bishop tweeted that police fired projectiles at him as he reported on protests. Bishop had previously identified himself as press. 
  • Detroit, Michigan

    • Multiple reporters with the Detroit Free Press were pepper-sprayed while reporting on protests in Detroit on May 30.
    • Detroit News reporter Christine MacDonald was handcuffed from behind as she filmed an arrest by Detroit police on May 31. 
    • Detroit Free Press reporter Mark Kurlyandchik reported the police charged at him while he and three other reporters were in the designated zone for press. Fellow reporter Darcie Moran tweeted that police officers said they did not care that they were journalists. 
    • Detroit Free Press’s David Jesse tweeted in the early hours of May 31 that he and other journalists were tear-gassed and shot with rubber bullets. 
    • Detroit Free Press’s Branden Hunter tweeted a video of Detroit police approaching him “with a gun loaded with rubber bullets telling me to leave.” Hunter, who is Black, wrote that he had to stay near his white colleagues so police would believe he was press.
    • Detroit Free Press reporter Darcie Moran was on her stomach and being handcuffed by Detroit police until a fellow journalist told officers she was press. Moran had a large copy of her press pass taped to her back.
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan

    • West Michigan NBC affiliate WOOD-TV reporter Dana Whyte tweeted a picture of herself after she and her photographer were hit with tear gas in Kalamazoo.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota

    • On May 29, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, along with producer Bill Kirkos and photojournalist Leonel Mendez, were arrested on-air while reporting on protests in Minneapolis. Jimenez and his crew were also forced to run from tear gas and projectile rounds on May 31 in Minneapolis. Producer Bill Kirkos and cameraman Leonel Mendez were both hit
    • Freelance photojournalist Linda Tirado was shot by police seemingly using rubber bullets in Minneapolis on May 29, which resulted in a permanent loss of vision in one eye.
    • On May 30, CBS Minnesota photographer Tom Aviles was shot with a rubber bullet and arrested by police while covering protests in Minneapolis.
    • MSNBC’s Ali Velshi was hit with a rubber bullet and tear-gassed while reporting in Minneapolis on May 30. Video of Velshi being hit was captured while he was reporting live on-air.
    • A CBS News team was fired on by police using rubber bullets while covering protests in Minneapolis on May 30. Correspondent Michael George posted a video of the incident to Twitter.
    • Two members of a Reuters camera crew were shot with rubber bullets while filming protests in Minneapolis on May 30.
    • Michael Anthony Adams, a reporter with Vice News, was pepper-sprayed after being forced to the ground by a police officer on May 30 while Adams was covering protests in Minneapolis. In a video posted to Twitter, Adams can be heard identifying himself as a journalist.
    • NBC News’ Simon Moya-Smith stated in a tweet that he was pepper-sprayed and arrested while covering protests in Minneapolis on May 30.
    • German outlet DW News posted a video of one of its reporters and his team being threatened by the police while covering protests in Minneapolis on May 30. The news crew from DW were shot at again by Minneapolis police on May 31.
    • Swedish and Norwegian journalists were shot at with rubber bullets while covering protests in Minneapolis on May 30. Swedish outlet Expressen posted a video of journalist Nina Svanberg discussing her injuries.
    • Madeleine Baran, a reporter with the podcast In the Dark, wrote on Twitter that a police officer in Minneapolis pointed a weapon at her and a producer on May 30.
    • A team of journalists from the Australian outlet Nine News wrote on Twitter that they had been detained and searched by police in Minneapolis early in the morning on May 31.
    • On May 30, CNN captured video of an unidentified cameraman being shot by police in Minneapolis.
    • MSNBC posted a video of police in Minneapolis using flash-bang grenades near reporter Morgan Chesky on May 30.
    • Ryan Raiche, a reporter with KSTP in Minnesota, described how a group of journalists were hit with tear gas in Minneapolis on May 30.
    • Journalist Hossein Fatemi posted a video to Twitter after he and a group of journalists were tear-gassed by police in Minneapolis on May 30.
    • Max Nesterak, reporter with the Minnesota Reformer, posted an image on Twitter after being hit with a rubber bullet in Minneapolis on May 28.
    • Star Tribune reporter Andy Mannix posted a photo to Twitter after being hit by a projectile fired by police in Minneapolis on May 26.
    • Another reporter for the Star Tribune, Chris Serres, wrote on Twitter that he was threatened with a firearm by Minneapolis police after being tear-gassed and shot with rubber bullets on May 30.
    • Hyoung Chang, a photographer with the Denver Post, said he was hit with pepper balls in Minneapolis on May 28.
    • Susan Ormiston, a senior correspondent with CBC News, reported that she had been hit by a rubber bullet while covering protests in Minneapolis on May 30.
    • Los Angeles Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske and photographer Carolyn Cole, along with other journalists, were hit with rubber bullets while covering the protests in Minneapolis on May 30. Hennessy-Fiske said she clearly identified herself as a journalist before the police opened fire. She recounted the incident in a video posted to Twitter.
    • NBC News visual journalist and producer Ed Ou was also hit by tear gas and rubber bullets in Minneapolis and was photographed bleeding profusely in the aftermath of the attack. 
    • TASS, a Russian news agency, reported on May 31 that Russian journalist Mikhail Turgiev was pepper-sprayed while reporting on protests in Minneapolis. TASS claimed the Russian ambassador “has referred a note of protest” with the State Department. 
    • TRT World journalist Lionel Donovan III tweeted on June 1 a video of his leg after he was hit with a projectile on May 31. Donovan has been reporting in Minneapolis
    • French journalist Mathieu Derrien tweeted a photo of the aftermath of Minneapolis police shooting rubber bullets at the car he and another journalist were riding in, cracking the windshield.
  • Kansas City, Missouri

    • Kansas City 41 Action News reporter McKenzie Nelson tweeted that she, her photographer, and her field producer were hit by tear gas.
  • Lincoln, Nebraska

    • Lincoln Journal Star reporter Chris Dunker tweeted that he was briefly arrested by the police while he was wearing his credentials and vest. Dunker said he was let go after police confirmed he was a member of the press. 
  • Omaha, Nebraska

    • An independent journalist reported being maced by police while filming an arrest in Omaha even though she was wearing her press credentials and had a helmet with “press” written over it. 
    • Local CBS affiliate KMTV reporter Jon Kipper tweeted a video of himself being arrested while he kept yelling he was media on June 1.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada

    • Journalist Rio Lacanlale wrote on Twitter that she and photographer Kevin M. Cannon were fired at by police with pepper balls in Las Vegas on May 30.
    • Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Shea Johnson reported being shot multiple times with kinetic projectile rounds by the police on May 31.
  • Asbury Park, New Jersey

  • Buffalo, New York

    • Freelance journalist Drew Jazzy tweeted that Buffalo, New York, police shot projectiles at him “over a dozen times at close range” despite wearing a yellow “press” vest and having media credentials. Jazzy also tweeted that one minute after curfew on the night of May 31, Buffalo SWAT leveled rifles at his head and arrested him despite his press status (which should have made him exempt from arrest) saying, “Fuck your First Amendment."
  • New York, New York

    • CNN’s Keith Boykin was arrested while covering the protests in New York City on May 30.
    • HuffPost reporter Christopher Mathias was arrested while reporting on protests in New York City on May 30. His phone recorded the arrest. 
    • New York Daily News reporter Noah Goldberg tweeted he was hit by a New York police baton while filming the protests on the night of May 31.
    • Photojournalist Adam Gray tweeted on May 31 he was arrested by the NYPD the day before while on assignment for The U.S. Sun and spent over 10 hours in police custody. 
    • Tyler Blint-Welsh of The Wall Street Journal tweeted that the New York police hit him multiple times in the face with riot shields even though he was wearing an NYPD-issued press credential.
    • Ben Taub of The New Yorker tweeted that New York City photographer Philip Montgomery was hit in the chest with a rubber bullet on June 1. 
    • New York police shoved and berated AP videojournalist Robert Bumsted and photographer Maye-E Wong. Both had identified themselves as journalists. 
    • Tablet Magazine reporter Armin Rosen tweeted that New York police clubbed him and took his bike away on the night of June 3. Rosen claimed that the officers told him, “It is not your bike anymore.”
    • New York City journalist Nick Pinto was shoved and pushed to the ground by police despite a fellow journalist yelling that he was press. 
    • BuzzFeed News reporter Rosalind Adams tweeted a video showing an NYPD officer grabbing her and pushing her back with a baton while she yells, “You don’t need to push me, I’m press.”
    • Gothamist writer Sydney Pereira was shoved by New York City police while trying to film an arrest and displaying her credentials on June 5.
  • Syracuse, New York

    • Dennis Nett, a Syracuse.com photographer who was wearing his press credentials, was shoved to the ground by the police during the May 30 protests. 
  • Raleigh, North Carolina

    • Photojournalist Ethan Hyman with North Carolina’s The News & Observer was hit by a rubber bullet while covering protests in Raleigh on May 30.
    • Charlie McGee, another journalist covering the protests in Raleigh on May 30, posted a video after police fired tear gas at him.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio

    • Cincinnati Enquirer journalist Patrick Brennan was arrested while he was covering the protests with his colleagues on June 1.  
    • CityBeat reporter Nick Swartsell tweeted he was grabbed by his bandana from behind by the police and showed a video of Brennan being arrested. 
    • Courtney Fransisco, a reporter for Cincinnati’s CBS affiliate WCPO, was shoved by police live on-air on June 1.
  • Columbus, Ohio

  • Eugene, Oregon

    • Eugene Weekly reporter Henry Houston was hit with tear gas and projectile rounds, according to both Houston and his editor on Twitter early morning on June 1.
  • Portland, Oregon

    • Local journalist Cory Elia tweeted that the police slammed him against a wall as he choked on tear gas even though he had shown them his press credentials. 
    • On June 7, Elia posted a live video to Twitter that shows protesters beginning to disperse. Near the end, an officer approached Elia, who repeatedly identified himself as press, and pepper-sprayed him and the camera. Before the live video ends, Elia says, “I’m down. I can’t see. I was holding my press pass out.” Elia later posted a tweet claiming an officer had used his phone to end the Twitter livestream while he was screaming in pain. 
    • Portland journalist Donovan Farley tweeted that he was yelling at police who were kneeling on a man’s neck. Another officer then chased and beat Farley with a baton and pepper-sprayed him in the face at close range despite Farley identifying himself as press. Farley also tweeted a video of the incident captured by local outlet KATU.  
    • A journalist affiliated with a press collective in Portland was arrested while doing a livestream on Periscope despite identifying as press, seemingly after asking an officer for their name
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    • Philadelphia public radio WHYY reporter Avi Wolfman-Arent tweeted a video on May 31 explaining that the police tackled and arrested him even though he identified himself as press.  
    • Philadelphia Inquirer journalist Kristen A. Graham was arrested on June 1 even though she showed credentials.
  • Austin, Texas

    • Anchor Destiny Chance of local Fox affiliate KTBC tweeted a photo of one of another KTBC reporter, saying the reporter and her photographer were hit by tear gas at the police department headquarters on May 31. 
  • Dallas, Texas

    • Freelance reporter Marina Trahan Martinez wrote on Twitter that police in Dallas shot at her with rubber bullets and tear gas on May 30.
    • Steven Monacelli, editor and publisher of Protean Magazine and a writer for LGBTQ publication the Dallas Voice, tweeted he was arrested on June 1 for not having a laminated press pass. He was later released.
  • Richmond, Virginia

    • Journalist for Virginia Public Media Roberto Roldan tweeted he was tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed in Richmond even though he identified himself as press on May 31.
    • Olivia Ugino, a reporter at the local NBC affiliate WWBT, posted to Twitter a video of a police officer pointing a gun at her. The video shows officers letting her go once they saw Ugino’s credentials, but a later video shows police preventing her from filming. 
  • Seattle, Washington

    • MSNBC reporter Jo Ling Kent was hit with what appears to be a tear gas canister (it continued to smoke after barely missing her), but MSNBC called it “fireworks.” Regardless, the video showed the object coming from the advancing police line behind her.
    • Seattle freelance journalist Shauna Sowersby posted a video of a police officer grabbing her and threatening her with arrest while filming protests. In the video, she repeatedly identifies herself as press and yells, “Don’t touch me."
  • Madison, Wisconsin

    • George Balekji, a reporter for NBC affiliate WMTV, tweeted a video of his crew almost being hit with a tear gas canister while he was interviewing someone on June 1. There was no one around them as they walked toward a police line, and the police gave no warning for them to stop walking.