DC_assaults_0531_floys.JPG

CNN journalist assaulted while covering DC protests

May 31, 2020

Multiple journalists said they were assaulted by law enforcement during a chaos-filled night of protests in Washington, D.C., on May 31, 2020, the third evening of widespread demonstrations in the nation’s capital after the death of George Floyd.

The protests were held in response to a video showing a white police officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a Black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. Floyd was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Protests against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have been held across the United States since the end of May.

Josh Replogle, a journalist with CNN, tweeted early the following morning that at one point the night before he’d been pinned by officers and struck with a baton by another. He tweeted: “I was supporting a CNN cam had my creds on police knew I was media,” adding “I’m hurt but ok.”

CNN did not respond to a request for comment on this incident as of press time.

D.C. is notable for the large number of different police forces that operate within its borders. Requests for comment from the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Park Police were not returned.

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]

Related Incidents

Photojournalist’s credentials stolen during DC protests

May 30, 2020
Matthew Rodier, a freelance photojournalist who was covering protests in Washington, D.C., had his National Press Photographers Association credentials stolen on May 30, 2020 by an individual who said that his photos were “getting people killed.”The protests were held in response to a video showing a white police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Protests against police …

CBS journalist reports ‘minor dust up’ while covering DC election protest

November 4, 2020
CBS national reporter Christina Ruffini and her crew were briefly accosted while covering election-related, pro-Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4, 2020.Ruffini tweeted footage of the incident, which she described as a “minor dust up with protestors outside #blmplaza who didn’t like us filming,” referring to Black Lives Matter Plaza, a two-block section of 16th Street in Washington stretching north from the White House.

Journalist accosted by person in ‘black bloc’ during Election Day protest in DC

November 3, 2020
Freelance journalist Eric Thomas was pursued and threatened by an unidentified individual and had his phone knocked from his hand while he covered election night demonstrations in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 3, 2020.At 10:53 p.m., Thomas posted a video to his Twitter account showing an individual in head-to-toe black — a technique for evading identification known as black bloc — walking toward the journalist as he filmed the interaction with his smartphone.The person was part of a group of about …

Journalist sprayed in face with chemical irritant during DC protest

October 28, 2020
A police officer sprayed a chemical irritant in Wyatt Reed’s face as the independent journalist covered a protest in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 28, 2020, the journalist told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.Reed is a Washington-based journalist who produces the show By Any Means Necessary for Russian state-owned Radio Sputnik. He was covering the second night of protests over the death of Karon Hylton, a 20-year-old Black man who crashed an electric scooter while being pursued by police on Oct. …
More related incidents