U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Chief photographer at WLKY news crews attacked by individuals in Louisville

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 29, 2020


Was the journalist targeted?
REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

Tear gas is deployed into a Louisville, Kentucky, crowd on May 29, 2020. At least two WLKY news crews reported being assaulted by individuals during protests that evening and two station vehicles were damaged.

— REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
May 29, 2020

Paul Ahmann, chief photographer for local broadcast station WLKY, was assaulted by individuals while covering protests in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, on May 29, 2020. At least four other WLKY journalists were also attacked and two WLKY news vehicles vandalized that night. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker has documented those incidents here.

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.

Ahmann 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.”

Kamper and Ahmann did not immediately respond to an emailed interview request.

Their news vehicle was also vandalized and later set on fire, and another WLKY news vehicle was vandalized that night. At least one other WLKY news crew was also attacked. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documented all May 29 WLKY incidents here.

The Tracker documents journalists being assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd-control ammunition or tear gas or who had their equipment damaged in the course of reporting. Find all incidents related to Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests here.

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