U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photojournalist shot with rubber bullet while covering Baltimore protests

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 30, 2020
Baltimore, Maryland


Was the journalist targeted?
Courtesy Timothy Wolfer via Instagram

While documenting a protest in front of city hall in Baltimore, Maryland, freelance photojournalist Timothy Wolfer was hit with a rubber bullet and tear gassed.

— Courtesy Timothy Wolfer via Instagram
May 30, 2020

Freelance photojournalist Timothy Wolfer was tear-gassed and shot with a rubber bullet while covering a protest outside Baltimore City Hall on May 30, 2020.

Protests that began in Minnesota on May 26 spread across the country, 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.

Wolfer told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that at approximately 9:45 p.m. police started spraying tear gas at a crowd of around 150 people.

“Somebody had probably thrown something, because police had started to tear-gas back at protesters,” Wolfer said.

As he was running away from the gas, with his press ID clearly hanging from his neck, he says he was hit in the upper hip with a rubber bullet, which left a 5-inch bruise.

The Baltimore Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting several hundred total incidents of journalists assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd control ammunition or tear gas or had their equipment damaged while covering protests across the country related to the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Find all of these cases here

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