U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

WKYC photojournalist’s camera damaged while covering police standoff

Incident Details


A screenshot from a WOIO report on April 22, 2022, shows a photojournalist looking on after an individual threw his camera equipment to the ground in Cleveland, Ohio.

August 31, 2022 - Update

Cleveland man who broke photojournalist’s camera ordered into treatment

A man who broke WKYC-TV photojournalist Craig Roberson’s camera while he was covering an arrest in Cleveland, Ohio, was ordered into a court-supervised treatment program on Aug. 31, 2022, according to court documents reviewed by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

Roberson and other local journalists were covering the arrest in April 2022 when Devell Dwayne Walker, a local resident, knocked over his camera and broke it. Walker was charged with vandalism. His case has now been closed.

April 22, 2022

WKYC 3 Studios photojournalist Craig Roberson was harassed by individuals and his camera damaged while covering an arrest in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 22, 2022.

WOIO 19 News reported that journalists from multiple broadcast stations were covering a tense standoff in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood connected to a viral video of two men pointing guns at a police officer.

Kelly Kennedy, an investigative reporter with the WOIO team on scene, said in a report for the outlet that a few nearby residents were angry that there were journalists filming.

“When we got to the scene, some neighbors were really angry when they saw our cameras and one man actually tried to grab one of our photographers’ cameras and then he actually knocked over another TV station’s camera and broke it,” Kennedy said, referring to Roberson’s equipment.

According to the police report, the $9,000 WKYC camera was destroyed and broken into multiple pieces. The man was charged with felony vandalism, punishable by 6 to 18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

When reached for comment, WKYC President and General Manager Micki Byrnes confirmed that Roberson’s camera was damaged and that he was unharmed; Roberson did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

WOIO’s Kennedy wrote on Twitter that everyone was OK, and that the incident was just one example of the kind of harassment journalists face daily when just trying to do their jobs.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker documented the WOIO assault here.

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