U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Demonstrators damage TV journalist's camera in Charlottesville

Incident Details

Date of Incident
August 12, 2018

Assault

Was the journalist targeted?
Yes

Equipment Damage

WTVD/DeJuan Hoggard
— WTVD/DeJuan Hoggard
August 12, 2018

Gary Cooper, a journalist with North Carolina TV station WTVD, was filming a crowd of demonstrators on Aug. 12, 2018, in Charlottesville, Virginia, when some of the demonstrators cut his camera's audio cable.

Cooper and journalist DeJuan Hoggard were in Charlottesville to cover anti-fascist demonstrations marking the one-year anniversary of the murder of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a white nationalist at the "Unite the Right" rally in 2017.

A group of demonstrators, apparently unhappy with being filmed, got into an altercation with Cooper and Hoggard, during which the demonstrators cut the audio cable connecting Cooper's external microphone to his camera.

Hoggard later tweeted a photo of Cooper holding the broken camera, and Cooper tweeted that he had a spare cable. Hoggard also tweeted a video of an altercation that he had with demonstrators before the cable was cut.

“Get that out of my face,” one protester says in the video, before blocking the camera with a sign.

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