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.
Please use this moment to reflect on the importance of journalism as a conduit between us. We tell stories. That’s our mission. We have the privilege to shepherd moments over time and space. Please subscribe to your hard working local papers, support their vocation. /2
— john minchillo (@johnminchillo) January 8, 2021
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.
Thank you to everyone who’s reached out, if I haven’t written you back – I am ok and taking time off social media with my family. https://t.co/lr150FDlEH
— Erin Schaff (@erinschaff) January 8, 2021
Also Wednesday, pro-Trump rioters were videotaped destroying journalism equipment outside the Capitol that evening.
JUST NOW: protestors charging the media pic.twitter.com/cANlcv5CMP
— William Turton (@WilliamTurton) January 6, 2021
BREAKING. Mob of Trump supporters swarm the media near the US Capitol. They yell what Trump frequently says, “the media is the enemy of the people.” They destroy equipment and chased out reporters. I’ve never seen anything like this in my 20 year career: @nbcwashington @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/3VLC07JQR2
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) January 6, 2021
Outside the Capitol, pro-Trump protesters are smashing cameras and other media equipment yelling “CNN sucks!”
One man took a wooden stick and bashed the pile of destroyed equipment.
This stuff isn’t owned by CNN. They are destroying AP equipment. pic.twitter.com/NeIUUSuYaC
— Christal Hayes (@Journo_Christal) January 6, 2021
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