KY WLKY news crew assaults 0529.JPG

Separate WLKY news crews attacked by protesters in Louisville

May 29, 2020

A photojournalist and a correspondent for a Louisville, Kentucky, broadcast station were attacked by rioters May 29, 2020, while covering protests downtown. Elsewhere downtown on the same evening, another crew from the station was hit with flash bangs lobbed at them by protesters.

Protests in Louisville have centered around the deaths of Breonna Taylor, shot and killed inside her home by Louisville police in March, and the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police on May 25.

Paul Ahmann, WLKY’s chief photographer, was knocked over and beaten by a mob of people, suffering a concussion that sent him to the emergency room, according to a pair of tweets from WLKY anchor Julie Dolan.

Shaky video of the attack was livestreamed on Facebook. In the footage, Ahmann lays on the ground as the crowd takes photos and videos of him, while at least one man visibly tries to hold the crowd back.

WLKY correspondent Deni Kamper was also attacked, but reported in a tweet that she was “ok,” writing, “A lot of people helped us tonight and I’m so grateful.”

Their news vehicle was also vandalized and later set on fire, and another WLKY was damaged that evening as well.

Further details about how the attack unfolded were unavailable as of press time. Ahmann and Kamper did not immediately respond to an emailed interview request.

Protestors also attacked another crew from WLKY, including reporter Stephon Dingle. Dingle posted that flash bangs, a nonlethal device typically used by police, were thrown at him and his crew. Two members of the crew, not identified at press time, were hit in the side.

An email sent to Dingle was not immediately returned.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting damage of equipment and multiple journalists arrested or struck by crowd control ammunition or tear gas while covering related protests across the country. Find all of these cases here.

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

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