U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photojournalist shot at with crowd-control munitions amid Minneapolis protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 30, 2020


Was the journalist targeted?
May 30, 2020

Peter Norton, photojournalist and founder of the production company RumJungle, was shot at with crowd-control munitions while covering protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 30, 2020.

Protests began in Minnesota on May 26, sparked by a video showing a police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, during an arrest the day before. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

According to CBS News sound engineer John Marschitz, Norton had been hired to assist a CBS crew that was covering the demonstrations. Shortly after the 8 p.m. curfew began, police began shooting rubber bullets and other crowd-control munitions at the crew.

Marschitz told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that the news crew had retreated down the street and into the parking lot where the team's car was parked after police began deploying tear gas into the crowd. The protesters kept moving in the opposite direction, and were several hundred feet away when officers began shooting crowd-control munitions at the news crew.

"My colleagues and I were fired upon without warning and [were] clearly identifiable as journalists," Marschitz said. "We were no threat to law enforcement and in no way impeding them from doing their job. Then they just began firing rubber bullets at us."

One of the rounds struck Marschitz in the arm; a second round struck a light on Norton’s camera, but did not damage the equipment. Norton could not be reached for comment as of press time.

When asked whether he felt police targeted the crew, Marschitz said, "I don't think they cared, they just shot at us."

More than three dozen journalists were assaulted, arrested or had equipment damaged while covering protests that night. The Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota State Police and Minnesota National Guard did not reply to emailed requests for comment about these incidents.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documents journalists assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd-control ammunition or tear gas or who had their equipment damaged in the course of reporting. Find all incidents related to Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests here.

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