U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Freelance photographer attacked after Stanley Cup by man yelling support of Trump

Incident Details

Date of Incident
June 12, 2019


Was the journalist targeted?
Reuters via USA TODAY Sports/Winslow Townson

A St. Louis Blues hockey player celebrates with a fan after winning the Stanley Cup Final in June. Photographer Scott Eisen, who was covering the game for Getty Images, says he was attacked after the game while putting his equipment away.

— Reuters via USA TODAY Sports/Winslow Townson
June 12, 2019

Scott Eisen, a freelance photographer on assignment for Getty Images, said he was punched in the face on the street in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 12, 2019, by an unidentified man who seemed to support President Donald Trump and his anti-press rhetoric.

Eisen had just completed an assignment covering fan reaction to the final game of the Stanley Cup, in which the Boston Bruins lost to the St. Louis Blues, when he was attacked at around 11:30 p.m. on the edge of downtown Boston, Eisen recounted in an email to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. He had taken the subway back to where his car was parked, and while he was busy putting his photo equipment into the back of his car, a man approached him and punched him in the face.

That evening, he shared his story on Twitter, noting he was “minding his own business” when the attack occurred.

The next day, he added further details:

Eisen — who also freelances for the Boston Globe, Bloomberg and The Associated Press — provided further details about the incident on his Instagram account. "A man came behind me, put me in a choke hold and yelled 'fake news! Trump 2020' and punched me right in the face," Eisen wrote in a Instagram caption accompanying a photo of his face, which was left swollen and scratched by the attack.

"It goes to show it doesn’t matter where you are as a journalist these days...the climate is such that you need to always watch your back. Sad times. I’m fine. the funniest part is calling a wire photog 'fake news' is so ridiculous because all we do is make REAL photographs," Eisen continued.

In an email to the Tracker, Eisen explained how the attack has changed how he goes about his job. “I’m more cautious in places that I am used to being around as you never know who may be following you or in the area. We tend to let our guard down in familiar areas,” he wrote. “We are in a climate where media gets a lot of flack for doing our jobs and part of me hopes this man was just heavily intoxicated and not making the right decisions that evening.”

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