U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Bay Area news crew approached by armed individuals, ordered to hand over equipment

Incident Details

Date of Incident
June 28, 2021
Oakland, California


Was the journalist targeted?
June 28, 2021

An NBC Bay Area news crew was threatened with firearms and ordered to hand over their equipment while filming outside City Hall in Oakland, California, on June 28, 2021.

The East Bay Times reported that shortly after 3 p.m. the news crew was interviewing a city official about a recent surge in crime when two unidentified armed individuals confronted the cameraperson. According to The Washington Post, the individuals knocked the camera to the ground during the incident; the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker couldn’t verify whether the camera was damaged as a result of the drop.

A scuffle ensued after the individuals ordered the crew to hand over the equipment, the Times reported. The news crew’s security guard drew his firearm and told the would-be robbers to leave.

“The suspects immediately left the area without the camera,” a police spokesperson said in a statement to the Times. The spokesperson also noted that the suspects hadn’t been apprehended.

“Our colleagues were conducting an interview at Oakland City Hall when they were approached by two armed individuals,” Liza Catalán, a spokeswoman for NBC Bay Area, told the Tracker in an emailed comment. “Thankfully, our colleagues are safe and unharmed.”

Catalán didn’t respond to questions requesting additional information about the incident.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].