U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Minnesota Reformer reporter struck by projectile during second day of protests for George Floyd

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 27, 2020


Was the journalist targeted?
REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Minnesota police aim pepper spray at protesters on May 28, 2020, as demonstrations continued for a second day following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody.

— REUTERS/Carlos Barria
May 27, 2020

Minnesota Reformer reporter Max Nesterak was shot with crowd-control ammunition while covering demonstrations in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 27, 2020.

Police were attempting to reign in a second day of protests following the death of George Floyd, a Black man. Floyd died at a hospital on May 25, after an officer knelt on his neck during an arrest, ignoring Floyd's repeated exclamations that he could not breathe. A video of the arrest sparked widespread outrage, and protests began the following day in Minneapolis.

On May 26, thousands of protesters gathered outside the convenience store where Floyd had been detained and at the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct. That afternoon and evening, police clad in riot gear fired tear gas, flash-bang grenades and less-lethal rounds into the crowd and some demonstrators built barricades and set fires.

Protesters took to the streets again the following day.

Shortly after 11 p.m., Minnesota Reformer reporter Max Nesterak tweeted that he was struck in the chest by a rubber bullet shot by Minneapolis police.

“[The rubber bullet] covered me in dust that’s been making me cough for a half hour. I’m home now,” Nesterak wrote. Nesterak did not respond to messages requesting further comment.

At around the same time, a second Reformer reporter, Ricardo Lopez, tweeted that he was “physically yanked away” by a police officer who wanted the media to move away from the advancing police line. Lopez could not be reached for comment to further clarify his tweet.

The Minneapolis Police Department did not immediately respond to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker’s request for comment.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documents journalists being assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd-control ammunition or tear gas or who had their equipment damaged in the course of reporting. Find all incidents related to Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests here.

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