U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Canadian journalist struck with munitions while covering Minneapolis protests

Incident Details

May 30, 2020

Police attacked dozens of journalists with rubber bullets, tear gas, and pepper spray on May 30, 2020, during protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Protests began in Minnesota on May 26, sparked by a video showing a police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, during an arrest the day before. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

On May 30, police fired a rubber bullet that hit Canadian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Susan Ormiston in her shoulder, and fired an unidentified canister that hit her in the buttocks, she said in a report for the broadcaster.

“For the last 10 minutes we have seen a very robust police response,” Ormiston said in her report. “Police came out, they pushed the crowd back, they were firing canister after canister of tear gas and we were right in the middle of it. They were firing rubber bullets: a bullet hit me in the shoulder.”

Ormiston said that police opened fire on her and her CBC team while they were in a parking lot filming officers’ actions.

“The thing is we were in that parking lot all by ourselves with two other people behind us, everybody else was cleared out and they fired at us,” Ormiston said. “We clearly had our television camera visible, so they were definitely taking an aggressive action to move everybody out including us.”

More than three dozen journalists were assaulted, arrested or had equipment damaged while covering protests that night. The Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota State Police, and Minnesota National Guard did not reply to emailed requests for comment about these incidents.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documents journalists assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd-control ammunition or tear gas or who had their equipment damaged in the course of reporting. Find all incidents related to Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests here.

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