Louisville TV reporter shot by rubber bullet while covering protest
Kaitlin Rust was doing her job as a field reporter when she was intentionally shot by a police officer.
One of the most dangerous jobs to have during the civil unrest prompted by the police-involved deaths of Breonna
One of the most dangerous jobs to have during the civil unrest prompted by the police-involved deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd is not actually being a police officer brought in to control the unruly crowds. They are authorized to carry and use a myriad of weapons and they do. No, it is not them.
But working in media and actually journaling the mayhem for television is possibly more perilous than those in law enforcement. Why? Because your team is small, you are not protected and moreover if you are filming you can’t watch you back.
Ask Kaitlin Rust.
READ MORE: Don Lemon slams Trump over George Floyd: no one wants to hear from you
She was simply doing her job as a field reporter on Friday, covering the local Louisville protest for the city’s NBC affiliate WAVE 3 when she was intentionally shot by a police officer.
While the camera was rolling and moving to a different location, a police officer in full gear started shooting directly at the reporter and crew. In the video, captured by the network, you can see the police (as if in a movie) peppering Rust and her team.
Police literally opening fire on the free press. pic.twitter.com/g8RMImZLGr
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) May 30, 2020
Rust screams, “I’m getting shot.” A voice from the station asks if she is “ok?” and she replies, “I’m ok … It’s those rubber bullets.”
The voice asks, “Who are they aiming that at?” as more shots can be heard and the male voice answers, “Now they are shooting at the photographer.” As Rust says, “They are shooting at us. Like directly at us.”
“Why are they doing that? Do they not know … obviously, they see the camera,” the female voice says from the station.
Confused Rust says, “I don’t know” and then she clears the scene.
The video of the shooting went viral on Twitter within minutes. By an hour, the clip had already eclipsed 1.5 million views.
SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents broadcasters, released a statement condemning the attack. They deemed it to be a brazen attack on two unarmed citizens and democracy.
“SAG-AFTRA condemns the reprehensible actions of this police officer who, without provocation or justification, fired upon journalists who were doing their jobs. The assault also had a traumatizing effect on viewers at home who watched the officer aim and fire repeatedly during the live broadcast,” the union said.
READ MORE: CNN reporter arrested while covering Minneapolis protests, governor apologizes
Omar Jimenez from CNN was arrested live on air in Minneapolis as he was covering the protest on Friday.
CNN reporter Omar Jimenez, who is black and Latino, and his team were arrested by officers early this morning in Minneapolis. Not far away, CNN journalist Josh Campbell, who is white, says he was “treated much differently.” https://t.co/1ZpqdyJON2 pic.twitter.com/vPFLTx8UnK
— CNN (@CNN) May 29, 2020
He was released immediately, and the governor of Minnesota called the network to apologize and investigate why he was taken into custody. No word on if the Kentucky governor will apologize on behalf of the police force or see why he shot at the NBC crew.
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