U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

KTVU reporter assaulted while covering protest in Berkeley

Incident Details

Date of Incident
August 27, 2017


Was the journalist targeted?

Screengrab from KTVU video showing protesters trying to block Leigh Martinez

August 27, 2017

Leigh Martinez, a freelance reporter for KTVU, was covering an anti-fascist protest in Berkeley, California, on Aug. 27, 2017, when a protester knocked her phone out of her hand.

In a video of the altercation shared by KTVU on its Facebook and Twitter accounts, one protester is shown attempting to block Martinez’s ability to film the march with a poster. A second protester approaches Martinez, saying, “Hey, can you not film this right now?” The protester then knocks Martinez’s phone out of her hand. The protester was later arrested on suspicion of battery.

KTVU’s Leigh Martinez had her phone hit out of her hand during a confrontation at Berkeley's protests. She was not injured.


Martinez could not be reached for comment, but KTVU wrote on Facebook that Martinez says “the incident happened after an altercation with her photographer.”

In a response to KTVU photojournalist Randee Deason on Twitter, Martinez tweeted, “Yes, I’m okay. She hit my wrist. I was able to continue working.”

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