Alaska radio reporter attacked while covering abortion demonstration
KSRM Radio Groups News Director Jennifer Williams was assaulted while covering a Planned Parenthood rally on May 21, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska.
Williams was covering the rally and speaking to both pro-choice advocates and anti-abortion counter-protesters. According to Craig Medred, an independent journalist in Alaska, Williams had finished interviewing an anti-abortion protester, and walked across the street to speak to a pro-choice advocate when she felt an object hit her face.
She told Craig Medred News that she saw a car speed past and someone tell her she was “going to hell.” Williams did not initially realize that she had seriously been hit, and she and the person she was interviewing moved closer to the large group of protesters.
When Williams got into her truck to leave later, she realized that she was bleeding and the hit was more serious than she thought initially.
Later that evening, Williams tweeted that she had been attacked.
While covering the #StopTheBan rally in Soldotna I was struck by unknown items out of a moving vehicle while being told I was going to hell. Battle wounds of a journalist. @Ksrm pic.twitter.com/jqixlwkFxs— Jennifer Williams (@JenniferKSRM) May 22, 2019
Williams told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that she does not know who attacked her, but she has filed “a police report with the Soldotna Police Department in hopes of getting some information on who made the attack and hopefully prevent it from happening again.”
Craig Medred News reported that Williams had received an outpouring of support from anti-abortion and pro-choice advocates since the attack.
“Both rallies, the pro- and the anti- have been great,” Williams said. “We live in a small community where people are generally pretty tolerant.”
On May 23, Williams tweeted a video thanking her supporters and emphasizing that she hopes the attack will not deter journalists from covering the news, or activists from voicing their opinions.
Just an update and a huge thank you for all of the kind words and support ❤️ pic.twitter.com/sVCpWrUBHB— Jennifer Williams (@JenniferKSRM) May 23, 2019