U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Omaha news car spray painted with profanity during late May protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 30, 2020
Omaha, Nebraska

Equipment Damage

Equipment Broken
Courtesy KMTV 3 News Now
— Courtesy KMTV 3 News Now
May 30, 2020

A KMTV 3 News Now car was found vandalized in the early morning hours of May 30, 2020, while the reporter was covering protests against police violence in Omaha, Nebraska.

Reporters from KMTV 3 News Now, a CBS-affiliate station, were documenting protests that began across the U.S. in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, thousands of protesters gathered at 72nd and Dodge, one of Omaha’s busiest intersections on May 29th. Deputy Chief Ken Kanger said that there was generally no violence and harm, according to the World-Herald, but as of 10:30 p.m. Lt. Sherie Thomas said the demonstration was no longer peaceful.

KMTV-TV 3 News Now News Director Geoffrey Roth told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that the news vehicle was parked about 3 blocks away from the protests as a safety precaution. Roth said a reporter returned to the car shortly after midnight on the 30th to find it spray painted with profanity and what appeared to be gang symbols, but there was no other damage.

“The vandalizing of our news vehicle was only a small part of what happened to our reporters in the field that evening,” he said. “Two were shoved to the ground by police officers while covering the protest that night and another was threatened with arrest.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting assaults, arrests and other incidents involving journalists covering protests across the country.

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