AP photographer shares harrowing video of pro-Trump mob attacking colleague outside Capitol

“A true professional and a great teammate, I’m glad we were able to get away.”

An Associated Press photographer was attacked by the pro-Trump mob outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and eventually shoved over a short ledge before other apparent supporters of the president came to his aid.

The incident involving the AP’s John Minchillo was captured by his colleague, AP photographer Julio Cortez. Cortez posted the GoPro video to Instagram Thursday night.

Warning: Video contains explicit language.

Cortez said Minchillo was labeled as an anti-protester despite showing his credentials.

“Thankfully, he wasn’t injured,” he wrote on Instagram. “He was labeled as an anti [protester], even though he kept flashing his press credentials, and one person can be heard threatening to kill him. This is an unedited, real life situation of a member of the press keeping his cool even though he was being attacked. A true professional and a great teammate, I’m glad we were able to get away.”


On Twitter, Minchillo said after the incident he and Cortez continued to work.

New York Times photojournalist Erin Schaff also shared a violent incident she experienced. Schaff was in the Capitol when it occurred, she wrote for the Times:

Suddenly, two or three men in black surrounded me and demanded to know who I worked for.

Grabbing my press pass, they saw that my ID said The New York Times and became really angry. They threw me to the floor, trying to take my cameras. I started screaming for help as loudly as I could. No one came. People just watched. At this point, I thought I could be killed and no one would stop them. They ripped one of my cameras away from me, broke a lens on the other and ran away.

Soon after, as police began to control the building, Schaff said she had guns drawn on her:

But then the police found me. I told them that I was a photojournalist and that my pass had been stolen, but they didn’t believe me. They drew their guns, pointed them and yelled at me to get down on my hands and knees. As I lay on the ground, two other photojournalists came into the hall and started shouting “She’s a journalist!”

The officers told us it wasn’t safe to leave, and helped us find a room to barricade ourselves in. The two other photographers grabbed my hands and told me it would be OK, and to stay with them so they could vouch for me. I’ll never forget their kindness in that moment.

“I am ok and taking time off social media with my family,” Schaff wrote on Twitter Friday morning.

Also Wednesday, pro-Trump rioters were videotaped destroying journalism equipment outside the Capitol that evening.

Get's browser alerts:

Enable breaking news notifications straight to your internet browser.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on