U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photojournalist threatened with weapon while covering Lakers championship celebrations

Incident Details

October 11, 2020

Freelance photojournalist Christian Monterrosa, who was on assignment for The Associated Press, posted on social media that Los Angeles Police Department officers pointed a firearm at him in downtown Los Angeles, California, on the night of Oct. 11, 2020.

Earlier in the evening, the Los Angeles Lakers had won the NBA championship, drawing thousands of celebrants outside the Staples Center. According to the Los Angeles Times, the festivities “quickly soured,” though, and “the scene devolved into another roving standoff between police in riot gear and throngs of people on the street.”

Throughout the summer, Los Angeles and cities across the U.S. saw similar scenes, as thousands took to the streets to protest police brutality. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting assaults, arrests and other incidents involving journalists covering protests across the country.

Monterrosa, who did not respond to requests for comment, captioned a photo posted to Instagram, “An LAPD officer points his firearm at Laker fans on the street including a TV news cameraman, and myself, who were documenting it.”

LAPD did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

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