U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photojournalist struck with crowd-control munition during Denver protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 29, 2020
Denver, Colorado


Was the journalist targeted?
May 29, 2020

Taylor Schuss, a photojournalist with Denver NBC affiliate 9News KUSA, was struck with a pepper ball fired by Denver police while covering protests in the Colorado city on May 29, 2020.

Protests that began in Minnesota on May 26 have 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.

That evening, police fired a pepper ball that hit Schuss on the ankle, according to Tim Ryan, director of content at 9News KUSA, who summarized the incident in an email to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

Ryan wrote that Schuss and the reporter he was with, Steve Staeger, “don’t believe they were targeted as journalists but rather happened to be in a group of protesters who were targeted.”

Staeger later tweeted about the incident, also adding that an individual had sprayed Schuss’ camera lens with some substance while they were covering the demonstrations.

Schuss did not reply to an interview request sent via Twitter message.

Requests for comment on this incident sent to the Denver Police Department were not immediately returned.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documents journalists being 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].