U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Youth smashes windshield of TV news crew’s car in Louisville

Incident Details

June 15, 2020

A young, unidentified male hurled a concrete block into the windshield of a television news crew’s car after a June 15, 2020, protest in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, video of the incident shows.

The protest was held in response to the killing of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot dead by police on March 13, as well as the May 25 police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis. Protests against police violence and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have been held across the U.S. since late May.

Shaquille Lord, a reporter for CBS affiliate WLKY, posted a video to his Twitter page showing a group of people heckling the crew as they walk to their car. A young male holding a large concrete block walks into the street and yells, “You better hop in that car before I break the shit.” The video shows him throwing the block into the vehicle’s windshield and the news crew fleeing the scene.

“Our crew just got attacked as we were trying to leave,” Lord said on Twitter. “We’re okay and I recorded the entire thing. I can tell you things are definitely not peaceful in the downtown area today.”

Neither Lord nor WLKY News Director Andrea Stahlman responded to requests for comment from the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. Newsweek also reported on the incident. It isn’t clear whether the crew was targeted for being members of the media. WLKY’s vehicles are clearly marked with the station’s logo.

A teenager was later arrested in Louisville and was charged with wanton endangerment, burglary, and criminal mischief in relation to the incident, police spokesman Sgt. Lamont Washington said.

Because he is a minor, the youth isn’t being identified and the Tracker was only able to obtain a redacted copy of the police report. Washington said he couldn’t provide any further information about the case.

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 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].