VICE News correspondent assaulted by rioters at Capitol

January 6, 2021

VICE News international correspondent Ben Solomon and cameraman Chris Olson were attacked by several rioters while documenting riots on the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump spoke at noon at a rally in front of the White House in response to the Congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden, promoting false claims of election fraud and calling for his supporters to march to the Capitol, The New York Times reported. Following the rally, thousands of pro-Trump supporters waving Confederate and Trump flags violently stormed the Capitol, disrupting and occupying several areas within the building.

In a video Solomon posted on Instagram, demonstrators can be seen confronting the VICE journalists, shouting, "Get the fuck out of here!" and asking, "Who are you with? Is it CNN? Better not be CNN.”

"Chris had a broken handle grip and that guy in forest camo gave me a good hard shove to the throat," Solomon wrote in an Instagram caption. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documented Olson’s assault and the damage to his camera here.

In the video, demonstrators can be seen confronting the journalists, shouting, "Get the fuck out of here!" and asking, "Who are you with? Is it CNN? Better not be CNN."

In the full-length video posted to Youtube, the camera is hit at 1:23 and Solomon's voice can be heard, "They tried to smash our camera."

"We were lucky to get away with minimal damage," Solomon wrote on Instagram. "To hear how many colleagues had it worse that day, I consider myself lucky."

Solomon did not respond to a request for comment.

In a press release the next day, outgoing Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund called the attacks on Jan. 6 "criminal riotous behavior" and said the United States Capitol Police would be conducting a "thorough review of this incident."

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting multiple assaults, detainments and equipment damages from Jan. 6 events. Find those here.

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

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