A local TV news reporter in Louisville, Kentucky found herself targeted by police, hit by rubber bullets during a live report during a protest marking the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody shortly after his arrest by a Minneapolis cop.
Kaitlin Rust, a journalist at local NBC affiliate WAVE 3, was broadcasting live when she suddenly shrieked.
“Katie, are you okay?” asked an in-studio anchor.
“I’m getting shot!” Rust yelled. “Rubber bullets! Rubber bullets! It’s okay, it’s those pepper bullets.”
“Who are they aiming at?” asked the anchor.
“At us,” Rust said. “Directly at us.”
Rust’s camera operator, James Dobson, then captured footage of a police officer in riot gear, pointing a firearm directly at them and continuing to shoot, causing them to flee.
This just happened on live tv. Wow, what a douche bag. pic.twitter.com/dQKheEcCvb
— Christopher Bishop (@ChrisBishopL1C4) May 30, 2020
A WAVE 3 statement confirmed that Rust and Dobson were both struck, and suffered minor injuries. Both, the statement added, were standing behind the police line and were not interfering with any law enforcement activity.
“We strongly condemn the actions of the LMPD officer who tonight repeatedly fired at our reporter and cameraman, both of whom were courageously and lawfully covering breaking news in there community,” said WAVE 3 News general manager Ken Selvaggi. “There is simply no justification for the Louisville police to wantonly open fire, even with pepper balls, on any journalists under any circumstances.”
WAVE 3 added that the Louisville police “confirmed that the officer in the video appears to be a member of Louisville Metro Police Department” and that the incident would be investigated.