U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Yahoo News correspondent hit in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Park

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 30, 2020


Was the journalist targeted?
May 30, 2020

An individual at a protest hit a White House correspondent in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Park in the early morning hours of May 30, 2020, interrupting footage the journalist was streaming live from his phone to Periscope.

In his livestream, Yahoo News correspondent Hunter Walker narrated the scene around him on the evening of May 29 and into the early morning of May 30: “The situation has become extremely heated in the last few minutes. Again, this is Yahoo News White House Correspondent Hunter Walker. We are in front of the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue, where protesters have taken down some of the barricades and are just repeatedly clashing with Secret Service and U.S. Park Police who have plastic riot shields and riot helmets,” Walker said on the livestream, before his phone was knocked out of his hand, cutting off the livestream.

In the video, an unidentified individual verbally accosts Walker, telling the reporter to go away and accusing him of saying racist comments. Walker identified himself as a journalist and asked the individual, “What racist things did I say?" before the video cuts out.

Walker was able to recover his phone and resume live streaming. “After a brief interruption, someone hit me and threw my phone — one of the protesters here — I am back live in front of the White House,” he said in a subsequent clip posted to Periscope. “I’m doing fine, guys, I’m doing great, no worries.”

The protests were held in response to a video showing a white police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. Floyd was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Protests against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have been held across the United States since the end of May.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting several hundred incidents of journalists being assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd-control ammunition or tear gas, or having their equipment damaged while covering Black Lives Matter protests across the country. Find these incidents here.

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