U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Daily Caller reporter hit by projectile during LA protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
September 7, 2020

Assault

Was the journalist targeted?
No
September 7, 2020

Daily Caller reporter Jorge Ventura said he was hit by a pepper ball fired by Los Angeles law enforcement while covering a protest in South Los Angeles, California, on Sept. 7, 2020. The Daily Caller, a “conservative news and opinion site” according to The New York Times, is based in Washington, D.C.

The protest was organized several days after the Aug. 31 police shooting of Dijon Kizzee, a 29-year old Black man who was killed after Los Angeles sheriff's officials stopped him for what they described as a vehicle code violation as he was riding his bicycle.

According to news reports, dozens of protesters gathered outside the South Los Angeles Sheriff's Station to protest the shooting of Kizzee. Officials declared the gathering an unlawful assembly after deploying nonlethal crowd control munitions and giving dispersal orders, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Ventura arrived around 9 p.m., according to a tweet he posted, and recorded a standoff between protesters and sheriff's officials. He posted a video of demonstrators retreating and chanting "Black lives matter."

"Crowd retreats after police shoot pepper bullets, tear gas and flash bangs," he wrote.

"Got hit by a pepper bullet today during the mix," Ventura wrote in a tweet at 10:59 p.m. "I'm all good and headed back home to enjoy the rest of this vacation."

The next morning, he shared another photo of a bruise where the munition hit him. Ventura told the Tracker he did not have press markings that night, but was reporting for the Daily Caller.

In a tweet Monday evening, the sheriff's department said it supports peaceful protests, but is concerned about individuals outside the community and state who want to "incite riots."

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting assaults, arrests and other incidents involving journalists covering protests across the country.

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