U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Primer Impacto reporter injured by rubber bullet during protests in Santa Monica

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 31, 2020


Was the journalist targeted?
May 31, 2020

Paula Rosado, a reporter for Primer Impacto, a Spanish-language evening news program broadcast by Univision, was hit with a rubber bullet as she covered protests in Santa Monica, California, on May 31, 2020.

Demonstrations that day were held in response to a video showing a white police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Protests against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have been held across the United States since the end of May.

Rosado had been narrating a livestream on Facebook in the late afternoon of May 31. A little over 12 minutes in, shots can be heard, followed by a loud scream from Rosado, who then said she’d been hit in the leg.

The assault occurred as law enforcement tried to disperse the demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets, Univision reported the next day.

Rosado was taken to an area hospital. In a later video, she compared the day’s events to the riots that erupted in Los Angeles in 1992, after four policemen had been acquitted of beating Rodney King.

In her next on-air appearance, Rosado can be seen on crutches. She tells her audience: “We left a dangerous situation safe and sound, so that we could tell our story and do our job. We know we are not the only ones, but there’s an entire nation in conflict and we hope with the strict curfews, the city comes back to normal.”

Rosado, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Santa Monica Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting several hundred incidents of journalists assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd-control ammunition or tear gas, or had their equipment damaged while covering protests across the country. Find these incidents here.

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