U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Radio reporter Mike Campbell attacked in Detroit

Incident Details

Date of Incident
August 2, 2018
Detroit, Michigan


Was the journalist targeted?

Equipment Damage

WWJ-AM/Mike Campbell

The windshield of a car belonging to local radio station WWJ-AM was damaged after a man struck it with a metal baton, on Aug. 2, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan.

— WWJ-AM/Mike Campbell
August 2, 2018

On Aug. 2, 2018, reporter Mike Campbell of Detroit radio station WWJ-AM was reporting from the scene of a fatal car crash when he was attacked by a man wielding a metal baton-like object.

Campbell told WWJ that he was sitting inside his parked car, delivering a report on the crash live on air, when an unknown man carrying a metal baton approached the car and began yelling obscenities and racial insults.

"I had put the windows up because I had started my report and I saw the man, but he seemed to be just walking by in front of the truck," Campbell later told WWJ. "He was saying stuff but I put the windows up because I didn't want our listeners to hear his foul words and then he apparently, just, something angered him, he turned around and attacked the news truck."

While Campbell was in the middle of his live report, the man struck his car's windshield, hood and driver-side window.

"My truck just got hit with a bat, I'm sorry guys, I've got to go," Campbell told WWJ listeners before abruptly ending the live report.

After the man stopped smashing Campbell's car, Campbell got out of his car.

Video recorded by Nia Harden, a reporter at local TV station WXYZ, shows Campbell holding up his phone to try to photograph the man. After taking some photos, Campbell got back into his car and drove away from the man.

The man then ran toward Harden, who was sitting in a WXYZ news truck, and began smashing the truck's windshield.

Police later arrived on the scene and arrested the man.

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