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Independent videographer Sean Beckner-Carmitchel said he was confronted and assaulted by an unidentified man while he was reporting in Los Angeles at the site of a planned anti-vaccination demonstration on Jan. 31, 2021.

Beckner-Carmitchel tweeted that when he arrived at the scene in West Hollywood in the early afternoon, only about three people had shown up to protest against lockdown rules and COVID-19 vaccinations, while about 15 counter-protesters were there. He shared a video of a verbal confrontation between several anti-lockdown protesters and counter-protesters, but noted that no violence had occurred.

"One man, who arrived after the verbal confrontation earlier, took issue with being filmed," Beckner-Carmitchel tweeted alongside a video he posted at 3:30 p.m. "He put himself near me, coughed in my face and threw my equipment down then attempted further assault."

In the video, the man repeatedly asks why Beckner-Carmitchel is following him. Beckner-Carmitchel responds that he has the right to film in a public space and asks the man to step back. The video shows the man continues to come closer and loudly coughs at Beckner-Carmitchel, who continues filming as the man walks away. The man is then seen turning back toward the videographer; he says "Keep it up" then reaches forward and slams the camera to the ground.

Beckner-Carmitchel told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker he wore National Press Photographers Association credentials around his neck and sustained injuries to his hand as well as "some intense bruising to the right forearm."


This content originally appeared on U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: All Incidents and was authored by U.S. Press Freedom Tracker: All Incidents.

Citations

[1] Sean Beckner-Carmitchel on Twitter: "Good afternoon! I’m covering a anti-lockdown protest in West Hollywood. There are about 15 counter-protestors, and the most I’ve seen of the protestors has been about 3. Kang of the protestors have arrived and then left after seeing the situation.… https://t.co/4BRsy3y3ec" ➤ https://twitter.com/ACatWithNews/status/1355983193568997376[2] Sean Beckner-Carmitchel on Twitter: "A verbal confrontation between several of the anti-lockdown protestors and counter-protestors ensued. No violence at this point from either side.… https://t.co/liXTV2dRC7" ➤ https://twitter.com/ACatWithNews/status/1355986258284056578[3] Sean Beckner-Carmitchel on Twitter: "One man, who arrived after the verbal confrontation earlier, took issue with being filmed. He put himself near me, coughed in my face and threw my equipment down then attempted further assault. I hate being part of the story, but I’d argue this is relevant to the story of the day… https://t.co/nwCF0h4vNG" ➤ https://twitter.com/ACatWithNews/status/1356022049160880128