U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

CNN journalist assaulted while covering DC protests

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 31, 2020

Assault

Was the journalist targeted?
Yes
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A protester stands in front of law enforcement during a May 31, 2020, demonstration in Washington, D.C.

— REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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]