U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photojournalist loses camera during confrontation at LA reproductive rights rally

Incident Details

May 14, 2022

Independent photojournalist Josh Pacheco lost a camera during a skirmish while covering a reproductive rights rally that was met with a counterprotest in Los Angeles, California, on May 14, 2022.

JP told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that they arrived at the “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally outside of Los Angeles City Hall at about 11 a.m. to document the event and was heading toward the staging area where speakers were set to deliver remarks.

“I didn’t even make it to the stage because as soon as I got there, I immediately walked into a confrontation,” JP said.

A group of individuals had locked arms to create a barrier to keep counterprotesters, who were demonstrating nearby, from engaging with those at the rally. The groups clashed after one individual pushed through the barrier.

“At that point, I put my GoPro in my pocket because there was a scrum between protestors and their counters,” JP said.

JP, who was also carrying additional camera equipment, captured footage of the groups clashing but lost the GoPro, valued at about $400, in the process.

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