A journalist for Alpha News was harassed and assaulted Monday night while covering a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Minneapolis.
Rebecca Brannon, an independent journalist who contributes video and photo stories for Alpha News, was identified by several agitators who recognized her from her coverage of previous events. The group then proceeded to follow Brannon as she walked to her car, shouted profanities at her, and eventually assaulted her.
“Get the f—k out of here! You’re not welcome here,” the group of demonstrators shouted at Brannon, who attempted to explain that she didn’t need to leave because she was on a public sidewalk.
“I think you need to go. It’s not going to go well for you,” added one man who was walking with the perpetrators.
The agitators later stole Brannon’s phone from her and tossed it into a fountain. Although her phone was destroyed, she was able to recover video of the altercation from the phone’s SD card.
The video shows a middle-aged white woman hitting Brannon on numerous occasions, including at least twice with a construction cone she picked up off the street.
Another demonstrator said that she was upset with Brannon’s coverage of a recent protest in Hugo, Minnesota, claiming Brannon was “giving the wrong damn coverage.”
“My job is to provide video footage and let viewers interpret the footage and make their own assessment. They destroyed some very valuable equipment and have inflicted physical and emotional damage on me that at this time may prevent me from providing future coverage. No journalist should be subjected to harassment or violence by police, protesters or anyone,” Brannon said on Tuesday.
She explained that she was afraid to turn her back on the group of protesters because they repeatedly cornered her on the side of the walkway closest to the light-rail track.
Brannon filed a police report with the Minneapolis Police Department Tuesday morning. She attempted to file a report Monday night, but was told she wouldn’t be able to speak with an officer until the demonstrators had left the area.
Earlier in the night, a separate group of activists confronted Brannon while she was in her car and screamed at her until she drove away.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center Monday evening for a “solidarity rally” in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.