Journalist Is Left Blind In One Eye After ‘being shot with a rubber bullet’

Minneapolis, US: A journalist covering the protests ignited by the killing of George Floyd has been left permanently blind in one eye after she was shot by police with a rubber bullet, according to The New York Times. 

Nashville freelance photographer, Linda Tirado, was gathering materials during the Minneapolis protest last Friday when she assumes she was hit by a rubber bullet fired by a police officer.

At the time, she was wearing goggles, but she lost them while running away from tear gas.

“I was aiming my next shot, put my camera down for a second, and then my face exploded,” she told the publication. “I immediately felt blood and was screaming, ‘I’m press! I’m press!’”

Demonstrators then carried her to a safe area.

She told the New York times it was obvious she was from the press.

“I would say there is no way that anyone had looked at me and not known that I am a working journalist,” she said. “That said, police have been pretty clear that they don’t care if you are working journalist.”

A Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson said police have not used rubber bullets in decades.

But Tirado is not the only press member to report being hit. Molly Hennessy-Fisk, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, shared that she also thinks she was shot with rubber bullets. CBS Newspath correspondent Michael George made a tweet saying he and his group were shot at with rubber bullets.

In addition, a number of local reporters also said they were also attacked with what seemed to be rubber bullets.

It is likely that a group other than the Minneapolis Police Department is behind the rubber bullet firings.

The National Guard, The Minnesota State Patrol, and other local police departments have been deployed.

Reporters covering the recent protests/riots have reported running into authorities on multiple occasions, even though they were specifically exempted from the curfew. A local TV photographer was taken away by police after he identified himself as a member of a news station.

A Vice News journalist tweeted that he was pepper-sprayed after he showed his press card.

The cases came following a CNN reporter’s arrest on live TV last Friday morning, pushing Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to make an apology, which he issued a second time on Sunday.

“I want to once again extend my deepest apologies to the journalists who were once again in the middle of this situation, were inadvertently but nevertheless detained,” Walz said in a press conference. “To them personally, and to the news organizations and to journalists everywhere, it is unacceptable.”

Gov. Walz briefs reporters

Walz is expected to discuss the state's response to Saturday protests to the killing of George Floyd and curfew.

Posted by MPR News on Sunday, May 31, 2020

Journalists in other places in the US were also attacked.

In Louiseville, officers specifically went after a local TV news crew. Footage from the incident shows a policeman in riot uniform aiming and firing non-deadly bullets live on the air.

“I’m getting shot,” the journalist shouts.

“Who are they aiming at?” an anchor asks.

“Directly at us,” the journalist says as an policeman fires at the cameraman.

What are your thoughts on these incidents? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve found it informative. 

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