U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Journalist struck by man on scooter at L.A. County protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
July 18, 2022
Location
Norwalk, California

Assault

Was the journalist targeted?
Yes
July 18, 2022

Freelance journalist Vishal Singh was struck by a man riding an electric scooter on July 18, 2022, while covering a protest against a proposal for a school-based reproductive clinic in Norwalk, California.

A video posted on Twitter and shared with the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker shows a man on a scooter driving past protesters before doubling back back to hit Singh, who was documenting the protest from the street. The collision resulted in Singh dropping his phone as he fell to the ground.

Singh told the Tracker he was covering the protest as a contributor to the Left Coast Right Watch, an independent news organization covering far-right politics in the U.S. Singh said he was wearing visible press credentials from the National Press Photographers Association.

According to Singh, conservative values organization LEXIT was among the organizers of the demonstration after a school board agenda item proposed adding a reproductive health clinic to a high school in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. The district dropped the proposal after protests.

Before he was struck by the scooter, Singh said he was harassed by protesters and threatened by members of extremist groups. Given the chaos of the day, Singh said he initially believed the scooter incident was unintentional until he reviewed the footage several months later.

“I saw that video, and I very much had a different feeling about what had happened,” Singh said.

After the incident, Singh said he was dizzy, suffered a migraine and a possible concussion. His phone was undamaged.

Singh told the Tracker he hasn’t covered any protests since the incident, adding it was a “turning point,” for him.

“It’s really frustrating and it hurts,” he said. “And the reason I still do it is because I think these stories need to be told. I want people to know what’s happening.”

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