U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Trump supporters repeatedly shove photojournalist during Phoenix rally challenging election results

Incident Details

Date of Incident
November 7, 2020
Phoenix, Arizona


Was the journalist targeted?
REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather at a protest outside the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix after the 2020 U.S. presidential election was called for Democratic candidate Joe Biden on Nov. 7, 2020.

— REUTERS/Jim Urquhart
November 7, 2020

Freelance photographer Ash Ponders was shoved numerous times by supporters of President Donald Trump on Nov. 7, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona, while taking photos of a rally outside the Arizona State Capitol.

Trump supporters rallied in states across the country on Nov. 7 after major news networks called the 2020 presidential election for former Vice President Joe Biden. In Phoenix, the crowd swelled to more than 1,000, The Associated Press reported.

Ponders, who is based in Phoenix, tweeted at just after 2 p.m. a photo of crowds gathering outside the Arizona State Capitol. “[B]een shoved and accosted more in the last ten minute than every other day since the election combined,” Ponders wrote in the post.

Protesters “bumped and shoved a lot,” at one point causing the photographer to fall, Ponders told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

“I stood up and walked away quickly towards another journalist,” Ponders said. “It was quite loud; if verbal threats were made, I didn’t hear them.”

Ponders continued tweeting from the rally for a few more hours, posting observations about firearms and military-grade equipment that some of the attendees brought with them to the event.

“I wandered away from the protests in search of some celebrations; I would like to make some images of joy for once this week,” Ponders tweeted after 6 p.m.

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