U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photojournalist assaulted in Alabama courthouse

Incident Details

Date of Incident
March 28, 2023
Huntsville, Alabama
Erik (WAFF)


Was the journalist targeted?

Aabama news station WAFF 48 in Huntsville has pressed charges against a woman, left, who attempted to stop its photojournalist from filming in the courthouse on March 28, 2023 by grabbing his arm and camera.

March 28, 2023

A WAFF 48 News photographer was assaulted while covering a court case in Huntsville, Alabama, on March 28, 2023.

When reached for comment, WAFF 48 News Director Julie Szulczewski asked that the photographer only be identified by his first name, Erik.

The station reported that Erik was reporting on a sentencing hearing for Travion Evans, who was charged with murder for the 2018 shooting of two people and killing of one.

As Erik filmed Evans being led out of a courtroom in the Madison County Courthouse, a woman whom WAFF identified as a relative of Evans’ ran toward Erik, grabbing his arm and attempting to cover the camera.

In footage published by WAFF, the woman can be heard saying, “Move away from my child!” before covering the camera. Erik is heard responding, “Ma’am, do not touch me.”

Szulczewski told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that bailiffs immediately intervened. Erik called the station to let them know that he had been assaulted but that he was not injured.

After reviewing the footage, Szulczewski said they decided to press charges against the woman.

“We just can’t let our crews be attacked in the field and not have consequences for the people that do that,” Szulczewski said.

The Huntsville Police Department did not respond to requests for additional information.

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