Two journalists were hit with crowd-control munitions fired by law enforcement while documenting celebrations in Los Angeles, California, after the Dodgers won the World Series on Oct. 27, 2020.
Los Angeles and cities across the U.S. experienced protests against police brutality throughout the summer, and crowds in L.A. had clashed with police earlier in October during celebrations of the Lakers’ NBA championship win. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting assaults, arrests and other incidents involving journalists covering protests across the country.
Beverly Hills Courier reporter Samuel Braslow told the Tracker he was covering the downtown celebration with Emily Holshouser, a reporter for California State University Northridge’s student newspaper, The Daily Sundial. Holshouser declined to comment.
The Los Angeles Times reported that celebrations devolved into looting and vandalism in downtown L.A. and the neighborhood of Echo Park.
Holshouser reported on Twitter that one policeman told her there were “not enough” officers to deal with the crowd.
Braslow told the Tracker, “Police were trying to respond to things, but again, they were spread thin.”
On her Twitter feed, Holshouser said that the LAPD issued a dispersal order shortly after 10 p.m., and that a line of officers in riot gear and mounted police were preparing to advance.
Braslow said he and Holshouser were standing with a group of 10-15 people at a street corner when police began advancing toward them. Shortly before midnight, Holshouser posted a clip of nearly a dozen individuals wearing Dodgers-branded apparel posing for Braslow to take a photo.
“These guys made @SamBraslow photograph them and then we got shot at with foam baton rounds,” Holshouser wrote. “I got shot in my hip. I’m fine just mega pissed.”
Braslow tweeted an image of a canister for a foam baton round — a crowd-control munition similar to a rubber bullet — at 11:54 p.m., and wrote that he had been hit in the arm by a “less-lethal” round. He told the Tracker he was not certain what type of munition struck him. The Tracker has documented Braslow’s assault here.
“I’m fine, just noting it,” Braslow wrote. “As per usual, camera around my neck, carrying camera bag, and wearing press credentials.”
Braslow told the Tracker he was also wearing a bulletproof vest and ballistic goggles. Holshouser can be seen in clips from that night wearing a bright yellow vest and press pass.
Braslow said he had some bruising and soreness on his arm, but both he and Holshouser were able to continue reporting that night.
The Los Angeles Police Department did not respond to emailed requests for comment as of press time.
A third journalist, L.A. Taco reporter Lexis-Olivier Ray, was tackled to the ground and struck with batons while filming the celebrations shortly after midnight. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker has documented that assault here.