U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Journalist hit with police baton while photographing protests in Philadelphia

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 30, 2020


Was the journalist targeted?
Courtesy Sam Trilling via Twitter

Photojournalist Sam Trilling captured the moment before a Philadelphia police officer hit him with a baton during protests in the city on May 30, 2020.

— Courtesy Sam Trilling via Twitter
May 30, 2020

A Philadelphia police officer hit freelance photojournalist Sam Trilling with a baton while Trilling was covering protests in the city on May 30, 2020.

Protests that began in Minnesota on May 26 have spread across the country, sparked by a video showing a police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, during an arrest the day before. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Trilling told the Committee to Protect Journalists that he was standing on a barricade taking pictures of the line between police and protesters when an officer struck him once with a baton across his abdomen.

Trilling’s injuries did not require medical attention, and he continued reporting, the journalist told CPJ. He said he was able to identify the officer who struck him, though had not yet filed a police report as of press time.

The Philadelphia Police Department declined to comment.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting damage of equipment and multiple journalists arrested or struck by crowd control ammunition or tear gas while covering related protests across the country. Find all of these cases here.

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