Media members became targets of violent protestors in Charlotte on Wednesday night, with reporters assaulted, dodging bullets and one photographer nearly getting thrown into a burning fire.
The second night of protests over the police killing of Keith L. Scott got ugly, with CNN correspondent Ed Lavandera getting attacked on live TV. Video of the incident shows Lavandera reporting from the street, when a person threw an arm or shoulder into the CNN reporter, sending him to the ground. Lavandera did not appear to be injured and continued his report.
When a protestor was “shot for nothing,” Daily Beast reporter Ryan James witnessed the tragedy and was nearly in the line of fire.
He wrote, in a first-hand account:
“A civilian fired a pistol indiscriminately into a crowd of dozens outside the hotel, turned and ran, leaving a man laying on the ground in a pool of blood on the sidewalk. There was a loud pop, then panic and confusion. Standing about 10 yards away, I looked down the barrel of a pistol. Several people were screaming, saying someone was shot in the head and a crowd quickly formed around the victim, a black male. I thought to myself, ‘Oh my God, why?’ Breathing heavily, I called 911, pacing around in the street. I could be the person on life support. The bullet had whizzed past me. But here I was, still breathing, and reporting this tragic news unfolding in front of me.”
Fox News reporter Steve Harrigan managed to avoid physical attacks, but an angry protestor launched a verbal assault on live TV, yelling, “Black people get shot every day, right? It’s okay for that, right?”
Harrigan had asked her why she was on the street when a black man had just been shot by a protestor to which she angrily replied that she could be anywhere and “still get shot by the police.”
CNN’s Don Lemon was forced to temporarily stop broadcasting when protestors attempted to block cameras and called them “liars,” according to Mediaite.
Meanwhile, the official Twitter account of WCCB said the station witnessed protestors trying to throw a photographer into a fire. Luckily, police stepped in and saved the photographer’s life and the incident was caught on video.
— Roger Simas (@SimasRealEstate) September 22, 2016
— WCCB, Charlotte's CW (@WCCBCharlotte) September 22, 2016
Other media members took to Twitter to report attacks on reporters:
One of our crews was attacked in Uptown.
Reporter & Cameraman taken by ambulance to hospital.
— Mike Hanson (@MikeWCNC) September 22, 2016
#CharlotteProtest is going off, reports of bomb being set off, journalists told by police to leave the scene or risk death!
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) September 22, 2016
We are officially evacuating all of our FOX crews from uptown Charlotte. National Guard en route, SWAT sent out, protests escalating.
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOX46) September 22, 2016
UPDATE: We are leaving Uptown Charlotte. Situation becoming unsafe.
— Brett Baldeck (@BrettFOX46) September 22, 2016