U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

NBC News correspondent harassed while reporting live on Hurricane Ida in Mississippi

Incident Details

Date of Incident
August 30, 2021


Was the journalist targeted?
August 30, 2021

NBC News correspondent Shaquille Brewster was interrupted and confronted by a man while reporting live on the aftermath of Hurricane Ida in Gulfport, Mississippi, on Aug. 30, 2021.

In the news segment, as Brewster begins reporting on the scene, a white pickup truck pulls up and a man in a white shirt runs toward the news crew. Brewster then moves slightly toward his left so that the camera pivots away from the man, but as he continues to speak, the man’s shouting can be heard off camera. As Brewster tosses it back to MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin, the man enters the frame and yells in Brewster’s face, seemingly reaching for him or his microphone, before the segment cuts away.

“Brewster used his forearm to shield himself as the man walked back up to him and incoherently rambled ‘report accurately!’ before the producer and the photographer were able to separate the men,” according to an NBC News article on the incident. “The heckler then left.” Brewster confirmed these details with the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

After the incident, Melvin provided an update on air. “You probably saw or heard a few moments ago, one of our correspondents was disrupted by some wacky guy during his live shot there in Mississippi. Pleased to report that Shaquille Brewster is just fine. Shaq is okay.”

“Appreciate the concern guys,” Brewster wrote on Twitter after the incident. “The team and I are all good!”

In a tweeted news release from Aug. 30, the Gulfport Police Department requested the “public's assistance in identifying a suspect that was causing a disturbance during a live news feed” and within the hour, the department reported that the individual has been identified.

According to a 3:14 p.m. tweet the following day, Gulfport police stated that “arrest warrants were issued... charging [the man] with two counts of Simple Assault, one count of Disturbance of the Peace, and one count of Violation of Emergency Curfew.” The man was booked into the Montgomery County jail, according to NBC News.

The Gulfport Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.

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