U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photojournalist shoved, microphone damaged at NYC protest

Incident Details


Independent photojournalist Peter Hambrecht captured this image moments after a New York City police officer pushed him into the bus mirror, at center, cutting his arm and damaging his microphone, while he was covering a Brooklyn protest on May 11, 2024.

May 11, 2024

Independent photojournalist Peter Hambrecht was shoved into a bus mirror by a New York City police officer, damaging his microphone, while he was covering a pro-Palestinian protest near the Manhattan Bridge on May 11, 2024.

Hambrecht told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that the protest began in downtown Brooklyn near Barclays Center before demonstrators marched up Flatbush Avenue. The protest broke into separate groups following rounds of arrests by police, with a large group walking beside and attempting to enter the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

He said that he was walking behind officers from the New York City Police Department’s Strategic Response Group, a heavily armored unit used for crowd control, and higher-ranking officers wearing white shirts when they arrested a demonstrator who had been drumming.

“They grabbed someone and pushed them against the school bus that’s right next to me,” Hambrecht said. “I’m trying to back up a little bit and then I get shoved by a white shirt, ramming me into the front mirror and it ends up cutting my shoulder open and pinning my microphone, which damaged it.”

In Hambrecht’s footage of the drummer’s arrest, an officer can be seen pushing a second individual against the bus in front of Hambrecht. Within seconds and without warning, a commanding officer shoves Hambrecht backward into the mirror extending from the hood of the bus and the sound on the footage cuts out. When sound resumes, the officer can be heard saying, “On the sidewalk.”

“He pushed me on the sidewalk and kept pushing me further even once I was on it,” Hambrecht told the Tracker. “It was very aggressive.” He added that he was wearing a press credential issued by the mayor’s office and was clearly identifiable as a journalist.

After beginning to document protests in early 2024, Hambrecht said, he has observed police singling out visual journalists. “Ever since getting my city-issued pass I’ve noticed that they target the photographers and really they try to get you out of there and separate you.”

The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment.

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