U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

CBS 6 photojournalist attacked with stick while filming anti-fascist march

Incident Details

Date of Incident
August 13, 2017
Richmond, Virginia


Was the journalist targeted?
— CBS 6
August 17, 2017 - Update

Anti-fascist group releases statement blaming photojournalist for attack

On August 14, a local anti-fascist group in Richmond, Virginia published a statement on Facebook about the incident. The statement blames the CBS 6 photojournalist for the assault and accuses him of harassing anti-fascist protesters by filming them without their consent. 

The statement also includes an explicit threat to other journalists covering the group: “Media you do not have the right to treat us this way. We are not your spectacle to profit off of. You are very often disrespectful and aggressive and we you will be met with the same behavior. If you don’t want to get hit don’t act like vultures. Ask for consent.”

A source at CBS 6 told CNN's Jake Tapper that the statement was “full of out-and-out lies.” The source added that the CBS 6 photojournalist sustained a concussion and had to take time off of work.

August 13, 2017

A CBS 6 photojournalist had to be taken to the emergency room after he was struck in the back of the head by an anti-fascist protester, the channel reported on Aug. 13, 2017.

The photojournalist, whose name has not been released, was using his phone to film a peaceful anti-fascist protest march in Richmond, Virginia.

He told CBS 6 that a group of people came up to him and told him to stop filming the march. When he continued to record, he said, people started putting flags in front of his phone to block him from recording.

“That’s when then I extended my arm above the flags to try to get a better shot of the protest,” he told CBS 6. “One member of the group hit the phone out of my hand and my natural reaction was to push them out of my personal space. Immediately following I was hit in the back of the head with a some type of blunt object.”

The photojournalist was then taken to the hospital, where he received four staples in his head. His colleagues at CBS 6 later tweeted photographs of his injured head.

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