Independent journalist Talia Jane told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that she was assaulted while covering what organizers called the “Million MAGA March,” a gathering of various far-right groups, on Nov. 14, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
The rally was held in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s failed reelection bid, a loss that the president and his supporters claimed — without evidence — was the result of widespread election fraud.
Things were mostly peaceful in the nation’s capital for much of Nov. 14, but fights broke between Trump supporters and counterprotesters as the day wore on, according to the Washington Post.
Jane, who is based in New York City, told the Tracker she was documenting one such brawl blocks from the White House shortly after 8 p.m., broadcasting footage of the melee to Instagram Live.
While she was filming, an individual punched Jane in the side of the head, causing bleeding from her ear and launching her smartphone from her hand.
“I was documenting a brawl where 200 fascists rolled up on about 80 BLM/anti-fascists and started going at it,” Jane told the Tracker. “I tried to stay somewhat off to the side, but a guy walked up to me and sucker-punched me.”
Jane said she was wearing a black shirt with “PRESS” written in white letters on the front and that she repeatedly said, “I’m press!” during the incident.
She said she was able to find a street medic, who applied gauze to her ear, but that she did not seek additional medical attention and continued to document the scene.