Here's Why It's Dangerous to Be a Journalist at a Trump Rally

February 29th 2016

Lucy Tiven

A Time photographer was choke-slammed by security and arrested at a rally for presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday afternoon.

Screen capture of Instragram video showing USSS members slamming reporter.

Eyewitnesses at the Radford, Virginia rally have tweeted that the guard in question was a member of Trump's Secret Service detail, according to a Gawker report.

The Time photographer, Chris Morris, was credentialed and within the press pen. According to videos posted online, Morris told the agent "f*** you," after being blocked from photographing Black Lives Matter protesters at the Trump event.


Though Morris was arrested, no charges were filed. CBS reporter Sopan Deb tweeted a statement from the Trump Campaign about the altercation:

In a video taken after the incident, Morris says he was slammed to the ground after stepping "18 inches" outside the press pen.

Trump placed heavy restrictions on reporters covering his campaign events as early as November.

At a November event in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Trump's campaign put a press pen in place and allegedly made reporters have security escorts to the restroom, according to The Huffington Post.

Earlier this month, NBC reporter Kay Tur tweeted that Trump was whipping-up anti-press sentiment at a rally in Atlanta, leading one supporter to call her a "bitch."

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski allegedly threatened to "blacklist" CNN reporter Noah Gray for leaving the designated press pen at a Massachusetts Trump rally.

The Trump campaign later denied the allegations.

At that time, the only candidates with Secret Service protection were Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, and Democratic primary candidate Hilary Clinton, who has a lifelong Secret Service detail as a former first lady.