A Louisville cop has been reassigned for firing pepper balls at a TV crew covering George Floyd demonstrations, according to a report.
Louisville Metro Police Assistant Chief Lavita Chavous said the unidentified officer was placed on reassignment pending an investigation into the incident Friday during an on-air segment on WAVE 3 News, according to the news station.
“Officers do have orders not to fire pepper balls at media but I’m sure you hopefully understand that sometimes when the media are involved inside the crowd or inside the area where there are protesters,” Chavous told the outlet.
“And those protesters are doing something unlawful or something they are not supposed to do it’s sometimes an unintended consequence when we fire the pepper balls into the crowd.”
The pepper-spray projectile struck reporter Kaitlin Rust, along with cameraman James Dobson, while she was on live television, the outlet reported.
Rust squealed in pain from what she believed at the time were rubber bullets, saying “I’m getting shot,” video shows.
WAVE 3 General Manager Ken Selvaggi said both were following officer orders at the time and standing behind the police line.
“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,” Selvaggi said.
“There is simply no justification for the Louisville police to wantonly open fire, even with pepper balls, on any journalists under any circumstances.”
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