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Journalist hit by multiple individuals while broadcasting live from Times Square

June 1, 2020

Hasanuzzaman Saki, a journalist for the Bengali-language news organization Somoy TV, was attacked by individuals in New York City on June 1, 2020.

The protests were held in response to a video showing a white police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. Floyd was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Protests against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have been held across the United States since the end of May.

According to an interview the journalist gave to Somoy TV, Saki was in Times Square around 11 p.m. doing a standup to camera when he was attacked. In a video of the incident published on YouTube, he can be seen in front of a line of people, all wearing face masks. One smacks him on the back of the head while walking by; then, a second person takes a swing at him. Saki said the individuals also attacked his cameraperson and tried to confiscate the camera, but the Tracker was unable to independently verify that information. He added that he identified himself as a member of the media, was wearing a press pass and holding a microphone.

It’s unclear who the attackers were or what their motivations were.

“I never thought that I, myself, would become the news,” Saki told Somoy TV, according to an English-language write-up of the interview on TBS News, a site that focuses on Bangladesh.

Somoy TV and Saki did not respond to a request for an interview. The New York Police Department did not immediately respond when asked if this incident had been reported.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting several hundred incidents of journalists assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd control ammunition or tear gas or had their equipment damaged while covering protests across the country. Find these incidents here.

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

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