Despite showing proof that they’re part of the press, many journalists and reporters covering anti-racism protests around the globe are being targeted by police. They’ve since used their platforms to speak out, and their encounters with police are harrowing.
It’s been two days since Donald Trump blamed the “lamestream media” for the ongoing anti-racism protests in a tweet, calling journalists “truly bad people with a sick agenda.” Even before the president’s lewd tweet, police had been targeting journalists and reporters covering the nationwide protests calling for justice in the death of George Floyd, 46. And, the senseless attacks are still ongoing as day five of the protests — some of which turned violent at the White House on May 29 — continue.
Journalists from news outlets including, CNN, Vice, LA Times and more are posting videos and images from their first-hand encounters with police on social media. LA Times Reporter, Molly Hennessy-Fiske said she, along with a dozen other media members, were hit with “tear gas canisters” at “point blank range” by the Minnesota state patrol. Vice Reporter, Michael Anthony Adams said he “was thrown to the ground” by police, while “another cop came up and peppered sprayed me in the face while I was being held down.” These reporters and many more have one thing in common — they identified themselves as members of the media upon attack, yet they say they were still targeted and pursued.
Minnesota State Patrol just fired tear gas at reporters and photographers at point blank range. pic.twitter.com/r7X6J7LKo8
— Molly Hennessy-Fiske (@mollyhf) May 31, 2020
“We identified ourselves as press and they fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range. I got hit in the leg,” Fiske recalled in a video pinned on her Twitter page. “We asked the, I was saying, ‘Where do we go, where to go,’ they didn’t tell us where to go, they just fired on us,” she said.
Michael Anthony Adams
Police just raided the gas station we were sheltering at. After shouting press multiple times and raising my press card in the air, I was thrown to the ground. Then another cop came up and peppered sprayed me in the face while I was being held down. pic.twitter.com/23EkZIMAFC
— Michael Anthony Adams (@MichaelAdams317) May 31, 2020
“The cop had his gun trained on me the moment he saw me,” Adams, said in an article published by Vice, recalling the situation. “At this point, I already had my hands up, press ID in hand, and was yelling ‘PRESS’ over and over and over,” he remembered, explaining, “It didn’t matter. Not to him. He told me as much before forcing me to the ground near the gas pump where I was taking cover. Then, a second later, another cop came by as I was lying there, my press card still raised above my head.”
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
89.3 KPCC & LAist
I just got hit by a rubber bullet near the bottom of my throat. I had just interviewed a man with my phone at 3rd and Pine and a police officer aimed and shot me in the throat, I saw the bullet bounce onto the street @LAist @kpcc OK, that’s one way to stop me, for a while pic.twitter.com/9C2u5KmscG
— Adolfo Guzman-Lopez (@AGuzmanLopez) June 1, 2020
Chief Political Correspondent for Sinclair and Full Measure
Editor’s Note: It is unclear if Scott Thurman is in the video he shared to Twitter.
SHOCKING: to see members of the media also taking direct, *intentional* punches and swings from police as they cleared the streets of protesters outside the White House. #protest #Washington #WashingtonDCProtest #PictureOfTheDay pic.twitter.com/7zR154O6Jg
— Scott Thuman (@ScottThuman) June 1, 2020
Many reporters, photographers and members of the press continue to speak out about the treatment of journalists by police officers amid the protests. President Trump hasn’t helped the matter by his constant verbal attacks on the media.