U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Vice News reporter pushed to the ground, pepper sprayed amid Minneapolis protests

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 30, 2020


Was the journalist targeted?
May 30, 2020

Police attacked dozens of journalists with rubber bullets, tear gas, and pepper spray on May 30, 2020, during protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Protests began in Minnesota on May 26, sparked by a video showing a police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, during an arrest the day before. Floyd was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

At about 11 p.m., police pushed Vice News reporter Michael Anthony Adams to the ground and pepper-sprayed him while he was identifying himself as press and displaying his credentials, as seen in a series of videos shot by Adams. Vice News producer Roberto Daza witnessed the incident and confirmed events to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a founding partner of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

The Vice News team, including Adams, Daza, co-producer Amel Guettatfi and cameraperson Daniel Vergara, were filming a report about police and state troopers storming a local business as its owners were trying to protect the property from looters, Daza told CPJ.

Daza said that, several hours earlier in the evening, state troopers fired a non-lethal round that struck him in the back.

More than three dozen journalists were assaulted, arrested or had equipment damaged while covering protests that night. The Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota State Police, and Minnesota National Guard did not reply to emailed requests for comment about these incidents.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documents journalists 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].