U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

CNN reporter hit with a projectile, tear-gassed during live coverage of Minneapolis protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 29, 2020


Was the journalist targeted?
REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi

Demonstrators chant outside the Fifth Precinct on May 29, 2020.

— REUTERS/Nicholas Pfosi
May 29, 2020

Miguel Marquez, a national correspondent for CNN, was hit with a projectile and tear-gassed on live TV while reporting from protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Cuomo Prime Time on May 29, 2020.

The protests were part of several days of demonstrations that began in response to a video of a white police officer in Minneapolis kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, during an arrest. Floyd was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Marquez was covering protests near the Fifth Precinct headquarters where demonstrators refused to comply with warnings from law enforcement and the National Guard that they were breaking curfew and would be removed, Marquez reported. “That’s when things got very, very intense here,” he said in a video of the incident.

Marquez went on to say that protesters were firing bottle rockets and fireworks at the precinct, while law enforcement was responding with tear gas and flash-bang grenades. At one point in the video, the CNN reporter lets out an exclamation after being struck with a canister or a rock, and host Chris Cuomo advises him and his crew to retreat from the action.

While describing the action in front of him — which included protesters “using the fireworks as weapons” — Marquez wound up in the line of tear gas, telling his cameraperson to “watch yourself” as they moved away. In the video, he can be heard coughing.

“That’s a healthy dose,” he said, before continuing to report. ““They fired a hell of a volley of tear gas into the crowd to get them out,” he said.

A CNN spokesperson declined to make Marquez available for an interview, noting that he had not specifically been targeted by tear gas but was merely “in the area where the tear gas was being shot.”

A Minneapolis police department spokesperson did not respond immediately to a question about why tear gas was deployed or the type of projectile that struck Marquez.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting several hundred total incidents of journalists assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd control ammunition or tear gas or had their equipment damaged while covering protests across the country related to the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Find these incidents here.

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