The mayor of Louisville, Ky., apologized to a TV reporter and cameraman hit by pepper balls fired by cops during a Friday night protest of George Floyd’s death.
Reporter Kaitlin Rust squealed in pain and shock when hit repeatedly with what she first thought were rubber bullets during a live segment on WAVE 3 News.
The Louisville Metro Police Department said Rust was likely struck by the cops’ pepper-spray projectiles.
In a statement, WAVE 3 General Manager Ken Selvaggi said, “We strongly condemn the actions of the LMPD officer who tonight repeatedly fired at and hit our reporter and cameraman, both of whom were courageously and lawfully covering breaking news in their community. There is simply no justification for the Louisville police to wantonly open fire, even with pepper balls, on any journalists under any circumstances.”
The mayor apologized, adding the police will identify the cop who fired at Rust and cameraman James Dobson to “determine what was going on at the time and if further action is needed,” according to a tweet posted by a CBS news correspondent.
“I believe in a free press,” Fischer said, calling the local coverage fair and comprehensive. “I am sorry that Kaitlin was hurt.”
In an outburst of vandalism and looting, seven people were shot and two officers were hospitalized following violence, vandalism and and looting Thursday night in a protest against three police officers involved in the death in March of Breonna Taylor, a black EMT who was shot to death in her apartment.
Taylor was shot multiple times during a no-knock warrant gone wrong at her home. Fischer announced that no-knock warrants would be suspended in the city.
On Saturday, Fischer activated the National Guard and ordered a countywide curfew from 9 pm. to 6:30 a.m. He expressed sympathy for black people struggling with oppression, but blamed the violence on “out-of-town anarchists intent on destroying our city.”
The shooting victims were reported in stable condition. No suspects were arrested as of Saturday.
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