U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

News camera spray-painted twice during Seattle protest

Incident Details


Individuals vandalized a KOMO-TV news camera twice, spray-painting the lens while the news crew was reporting on protests at the University of Washington in Seattle on May 7, 2024.

May 7, 2024

A news crew with KOMO-TV was harassed and its camera vandalized while reporting on student protests at the University of Washington in Seattle on May 7, 2024.

Students erected an encampment on the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, the main gathering place on campus, on April 29, The Seattle Times reported, calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza war, divestment from Israeli companies and for the university to sever any ties with Boeing, which is a supplier for the Israeli Air Force.

KOMO-TV reported that the demonstration grew to its largest size on May 7, with more than 200 pro-Palestinian protesters. Conservative commentator and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk appeared on campus that day for a speaking event and set up his own tent near the encampment.

Amid heightened tensions, KOMO-TV reported that its news crew witnessed at least one fight, and that individuals sprayed the crew’s camera with spray paint twice.

KOMO-TV News Director Philip Bruce did not respond to a request for additional information.

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