U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photojournalist tackled, colleague assaulted, while covering protests in New York

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 30, 2020
Rochester, New York


Was the journalist targeted?
May 30, 2020

Unknown individuals physically assaulted two journalists covering protests on May 30, 2020 in Rochester, New York, allegedly tackling one of the correspondents to the ground.

Jack Diamond, a photojournalist for News10NBC in Rochester, was covering a demonstration alongside his colleague, reporter Andrew Hyman, at about 5 p.m. in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.

The rally attracted hundreds of attendees and was mostly peaceful, Hyman told News10NBC for its report on the assault on him and Diamond.

A group of police at the scene began firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd. Thereafter, Hyman said an individual approached him, asking him questions about his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, recording the exchange with a smartphone.

Hyman told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that the inquisition attracted the attention of five or six men passing nearby. One of the men snatched Hyman’s earpiece, which was connected to a smartphone he was using to cover the demonstrations. Then the others began shoving him. The Tracker has documented Hyman’s assault and the damage to his equipment here.

“I was just out of it,” Hyman told the Tracker, noting that his assailants were all wearing masks. “I couldn’t see their faces.”

As the reporter tried to flee from the scuffle, he looked back and saw that some individuals had tackled Diamond and took him off his feet.

But then two or three other individuals who were not involved with the tackle helped the photojournalist to his feet and he was able to escape without injuries or damage to his equipment, Hyman said.

“In the parking lot across from the Public Safety Building, News10NBC Photojournalist Jack Diamond and I were both grabbed by a group,” Hyman told News10NBC. “I had my earpiece taken, and Jack was tackled. We were not hurt, just shaken up.

Hyman told the Tracker that neither journalist sought medical attention following the attack. He said that the Rochester Police Department contacted him about the incident but as of his Aug. 18 interview with the Tracker he had not received additional information about possible charges against the assailants.

Diamond and the Rochester Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.

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