U.S. Cops fire rubber bullets at Sputnik journalist covering White House protests, outlet says
The police shot a US journalist working for Russian news outlet Sputnik with "rubber bullets" as she was covering protests near the White House on Tuesday, the outlet has reported.
Nicole Roussell said she got caught up in police violence in Washington DC when officers deployed anti-riot weapons against the protesting crowd. "I ran closer to get footage of what was happening and the police quickly began shooting what I think were a combination of stinger grenades and rubber bullets," she said.
The police shot projectiles at her despite her wearing a press badge and identifying herself as a journalist, she added. Other journalists and protesters were treated the same way, Roussell said.
The reporter, who normally works as a producer of the Loud & Clear program on Radio Sputnik, is among the latest in a long string of journalists reporting police attacks while covering mass protests in the US.
A correspondent and a cameraman from the Australian outlet 7News were also targeted by riot police during the same protest in Washington. The Australian government has demanded an investigation into what the news channel described as "nothing short of wanton thuggery" by US officers of the law.
Later in the day, Russia’s Foreign Ministry condemned the incident, calling out the “continuous violence” of the US law enforcement against international press. Moscow regards the attack on Roussell as “an unfriendly move by the US authorities, as well as a flagrant violation of their international obligations to ensure the safety of journalists and their work,” the ministry said in a statement.
Dozens of cities across the US have been gripped by protests and rioting, ignited by the death of George Floyd, who was choked to death while in police custody. An independent autopsy confirmed that the death was the result of homicide.