Louisville TV Reporter Shot By Police During Live Broadcast Covering Street Protests

Bruce Haring

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A reporter for an NBC affiliate station in Louisville, KY was fired upon by police Friday night during a live broadcast covering street protests in that city.

Kaitlin Rust, a journalist at WAVE 3, was live on the air when a man wearing a mask and vest that said “police” began firing at her and a colleague.

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The Louisville community was already angered by an earlier police shooting in a drug raid at the home of Breonna Taylor, an innocent victim of a wrong address mixup. The situation was further inflamed this week by the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who died in police custody in that city.

The reporter’s shooting was posted to Twitter by a viewer and exceeded 1.5 million views within an hour.

In the video, Rust is heard screaming, “I’m getting shot!”

“Katie, are you OK?” asked an in-studio anchor.

“Rubber bullets!” Rust said. “Rubber bullets!” She later amended it to, “It’s OK. It’s those pepper bullets.”

She was asked who they were aiming at.

“At us,” Rust said. “Directly at us.”

Rust and photographer James Dobson were struck and suffered minor injuries. Both were standing behind the police line and were not interfering with law enforcement, a WAVE 3 statement said.

“There is simply no justification for the Louisville police to wantonly open fire, even with pepper balls, on any journalists under any circumstances,” WAVE 3 News General Manager Ken Selvaggi said.

WAVE 3 said the Louisville police acknowledged that one of their officers appeared to have fired and would investigate.

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