CPJ Investigating Police Attack on Sputnik Journalist During US Protest, Spokesperson Says

© REUTERS / ANDY SULLIVANWashington, D.C. National Guard military police block a street near the White House from protestors as the number of U.S. military forces deployed to the streets of the nation's capital increases, while protests continue against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2020.
Washington, D.C. National Guard military police block a street near the White House from protestors as the number of U.S. military forces deployed to the streets of the nation's capital increases, while protests continue against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2020.  - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Committee to Protect Journalists is probing Monday night's attack by police forces in Washington on Sputnik radio show producer Nicole Roussell as she was covering anti-racism protests outside the White House, a CPJ spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“My colleagues are investigating this case and others that have been brought to our attention,” the spokesperson said.

While covering protests near the White House, Roussell was shot at with rubber bullets and stinger grenades despite identifying herself as a journalist and wearing a press badge. Russia's Foreign Ministry said she received multiple injuries and was "trampled" by police forces as they moved in to disperse the crowd.

According to the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, the Sputnik journalist was attacked by police though she repeatedly stated that she was the press and had the press card hung around her neck. Moscow has demanded that the United States take measures to defend journalists from police brutality, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

On Sunday, RIA Novosti correspondent Mikhail Turgiyev was pepper-sprayed in the face by a Minneapolis police officer despite identifying himself as a reporter, while covering the protests. A VICE television crew was also affected during the incident.

Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency demanded an investigation into the actions of the police. The Russian Foreign Ministry previously regarded the Turgiyev incident as a manifestation of unjustified brutality. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz apologized to reporters who had been detained or attacked by the police on Sunday night. The Russian Embassy in the US, in turn, sent a note to the US State Department.

Protests erupted last week after George Floyd, a 46-year old African American man, was killed after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. On Monday, the county examiner ruled Floyd's death a homicide.

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