Freelance photographer Tommy Machowicz was shot in the head and back with rubber bullets at a George Floyd protest last summer. Now, he’s suing the Phoenix police department.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, protestors stormed the streets of America’s cities to demand justice for Floyd’s unlawful killing and to support anti-racist movements such as Black Lives Matter.
Machowicz attended a May 30th protest in Phoenix, Arizona to document what he believed to be pivotal moments in history.
However, as tensions rose between protestors and the Phoenix police, the police shot Machowicz as he tried to seek safety.
Knocked down by the impact of the rubber projectiles, Machowicz reportedly lay in a fetal position until he was rescued by nearby protestors, who pulled him out of the line of fire and sought medical attention.
Machowicz sustained a concussion and a bruised lung from the rubber bullets.
As a result, he’s suing the Phoenix police department for “violating his freedom of press, excessive force, and negligence” and “is seeking compensation for his medical expenses and lost wages, and other damages,” according to ABC15 .
The Clash between Media and Police at Protests
Machowicz’s story echoes the harsh reality of what many journalists and photographers have been facing on the frontlines of protests and rallies.
Linda Tirado, a freelance photojournalist who attended a protest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was hit in the eye and left permanently blind.
And in New York City, the NYPD reportedly pushed a Wall Street Journal reporter to the ground, despite him wearing a visible press pass.
These violent interactions highlight the anti-media and anti-press sentiments that were prevalent last summer and bolstered by the Trump Administration.
Also Check: Tips for Covering Protests & Demonstrations