Windows of a WHDH 7News van were smashed while a news team from the local TV station was covering protests in Boston, Massachusetts, in the early hours of June 1, 2020.
Demonstrations in Boston began as protesters gathered in cities across the country, sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody. Thousands of people joined Boston protests on May 31 against police brutality and racial injustice. Late that night, after hours of peaceful demonstrations, protests escalated into violence as some participants smashed windows and set fires across the city, WBUR reported.
Nathalie Pozo, a reporter for 7News, posted on Twitter that her news team had covered the protests for six hours and was wrapping up its work for the night when the station’s van was attacked. Video she posted shows the vehicle driving by a group of people when the driver’s side window suddenly bursts, spraying glass into the cab. Another object hits and breaks the windshield.
A voice can be heard asking if the driver is okay, and the driver responds, “Yeah, I got glass in my eye.”
On June 9, 2020, a photojournalist with NBC 12 in Richmond, Virginia, was attacked by individuals tearing down a Christopher Columbus statue in Byrd Park.
Confederate and Columbus statues were torn down and vandalized in several cities in June, during protests against police violence and racial inequality.
In Richmond, the NBC 12 photojournalist was covering the scene with his colleague Brent Solomon, who tweeted, “Violent protesters rip off Christoper Columbus statue, throw it into the water, attack our photographer.”
Solomon did not name the photographer in his tweet, and Solomon said that they would “politely decline” to comment on the case to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.
Paige Pauroso, a multimedia journalist for WBTV, a CBS-affiliate station based in Charlotte, North Carolina, was assaulted while filming b-roll in the city on Nov. 1, 2019.
Pauroso, who did not respond to messages requesting comment, posted a video to Twitter that shows a woman approaching Pauroso as she’s carrying a camera atop a tripod toward a couple of cars. Approximately 5 seconds into the clip, the woman hits Pauroso in the head, knocking it into the camera. The woman appears to then say something to Pauroso and walk away.
According to a police report shared with the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, the assault occurred shortly before 1 p.m. at the intersection of North Sharon Amity Road and Campbell Drive.
Pauroso wrote an account of the incident: “This woman verbally and then physically attacked me for just doing my job. I tried to diffuse the situation by deleting the clips she might have been in (she was walking on a public street). But it was obviously she hated me for just being in the neighborhood with a camera.”
Pauroso wrote that she was “a little shaken up” and her head was sore from where it hit the camera; she also confirmed that she had filed a police report about the incident.