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Reporters Targeted, Attacked by Police While Covering Protests

HeadlineJun 01, 2020

Numerous reporters have been targeted as they covered protests around the country. Freelance photographer Linda Tirado was told by doctors she would be permanently blind in her left eye after being shot by Minneapolis police. Also in Minneapolis, an officer threw Vice News reporter Michael Anthony Adams face-first into the pavement of a gas station Saturday night as he shouted “Press!” and displayed his media ID above his head. Moments later, another officer casually blasted Adams directly in the face with pepper spray as he lay prone on the pavement.

In Louisville, Kentucky, a local reporter and photographer were hit by pepper balls while broadcasting live. The officer appeared to be aiming directly at Kaitlin Rust and photojournalist James Dobson.

Kaitlin Rust: [screams]

WAVE 3 anchor 1: “Are you OK?”

Kaitlin Rust: “I’m getting shot! I’m getting” —

WAVE 3 anchor 1: “Kate? Katie, are you OK?”

Kaitlin Rust: “Rubber bullets. Rubber bullets. It’s OK. It’s those pepper bullets. It’s those pepper bullets they’re just dropping in the street.”

WAVE 3 anchor 1: “Who are they aiming at?”

WAVE 3 anchor 2: “Now he’s shooting at the photographer.”

Kaitlin Rust: “At us, like directly at us! Directly at us!”

WAVE 3 anchor 1: “Why are they doing that?”

Kaitlin Rust: “Why?”

WAVE 3 anchor 2: “He’s shooting at our crew.”

In Los Angeles, public radio reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez tweeted a gruesome photo of a wound he received after a police officer shot him in the throat with a rubber-coated bullet.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has issued a safety advisory for reporters covering the protests, which includes avoiding working alone, and wearing protective gear, including body armor. The group also warns of the increased risk of contracting the coronavirus given the difficulty of maintaining social distancing.

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