U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Journalist alleges bodyguard pushed, assaulted him outside San Francisco courthouse

Incident Details

Date of Incident
October 15, 2019


Was the journalist targeted?
Screenshot via YouTube

Multimedia journalist Phelim McAleer filed a police report alleging assault outside of a San Francisco courthouse.

— Screenshot via YouTube
October 15, 2019

Multimedia journalist Phelim McAleer told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that he was assaulted by a bodyguard for Planned Parenthood outside of a San Francisco courthouse on Oct. 15, 2019.

McAleer said he was attempting to interview Dr. Mary Gatter, who had just finished testifying in Planned Parenthood’s suit against activist David Daleiden.

Footage of the incident posted to McAleer's YouTube channel shows McAleer asking questions of Gatter as she walks toward an SUV waiting on the side of the street. As he appears to move around Gatter’s bodyguard to continue asking questions, the man pushes McAleer backward repeatedly. In the video, McAleer is heard shouting, “You’re assaulting me! Get your hands off me!”

McAleer told the Tracker that the bodyguard shoved and pushed him before jabbing him in the ribs. McAleer called the police who, according to a summary of the police report shared with the Tracker, were dispatched to the courthouse just before noon.

“Officers met with an adult male victim (investigative Journalist) who stated that he was assaulted by an adult male while trying to interview a witness,” Public Information Officer Joseph Tomlinson shared over email. “Officers reviewed the surveillance footage of the incident and did not see a battery of the victim.”

In regards to the police determination that he was not assaulted, McAleer said, “I think they looked at a confusing situation on my phone and made a snap judgement.”

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