U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Journalist assaulted, pushed to the ground while covering protest in Memphis

Incident Details

Date of Incident
June 12, 2019
Memphis, Tennessee


Was the journalist targeted?
June 12, 2019

WREG-TV reporter Luke Jones was hurt while covering protests over a fatal officer shooting in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 12, 2019.

U.S. marshals shot and killed Brandon Webber, a 20-year-old Black man, in the Memphis community of Frayser, sparking violent protests. In a Facebook post in response to the protests, Memphis Mayor John Strickland wrote that “At least 24 officers and deputies were injured---6 were taken to the hospital. At least two journalists were injured.”

Jones wrote on Twitter that a man ran up and hit him in the head, and then knocked him to the ground. Eight hours later, Jones tweeted again, and said that he was leaving the hospital and received a contusion.

Jones told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that he did not have any equipment with him at the time he was attacked, and that he had been walking to meet a photographer when it felt like someone punched him in the side of his head.

Jones said he filed a police report over the incident on the evening of June 12.

Mayor Strickland’s media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Tracker.

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