U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Colorado Springs news station’s car windshield smashed with skateboard

Incident Details

Colette Bordelon/KOAA 5News via Twitter

A screenshot from a video taken by journalist Colette Bordelon and posted to Twitter shows damage to her news vehicle.

— Colette Bordelon/KOAA 5News via Twitter
June 6, 2020

A skateboard thrown at a television news station’s car smashed the vehicle’s windshield and broke the driver’s door near protests against police violence in Colorado Springs, Colorado on June 6, 2020.

Reporter Colette Bordelon was driving the marked KOAA News5 car near Colorado Springs’ City Hall to cover the demonstration on June 6. When she made a left turn on a street heading away from City Hall, someone threw a skateboard at the car. Later that night, Bordelon tweeted a video showing damage to the car and said: “I can’t open the driver’s side door as a result. Friendly reminder that your local reporters are here to tell your stories.”

A video clip that accompanies the tweet shows a large smash on the left-hand side of the car’s windscreen.

It isn’t clear whether the vehicle was specifically targeted for belonging to a media outlet. “It was pretty close to the protests, but I have no way of knowing if it was a random person or actually a protester,” Boredelon told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

“There are too many unanswered questions in my specific incident to go ahead and attribute it to an attack on the press, or as related to the protests,” Bordelon said in an email.

Bordelon tweeted after the incident that she was uninjured, and livestreamed on Facebook Live from the scene of the protest that night.

“So everyone knows - I’m totally okay!” she tweeted. “Also, I realize this is an isolated incident, and it doesn’t represent all of the people I have met at these protests over the past week. The main message of the protests is still the story I will share - systemic racism in America.”

Bordelon filed a police report about the incident.

The Colorado Springs demonstration was one of many protests that broke out across the U.S. in response to police violence and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement since the end of May. They were sparked by a viral video showing a white police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting several hundred incidents of journalists being assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd-control ammunition or tear gas, or having their equipment damaged while covering these protests across the country. Find these incidents here.

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