Politics

Rioters Chase, Threaten Daily Caller News Foundation Reporter Through The Streets Of DC

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • Rioters chased a Daily Caller News Foundation reporter through the streets of Washington, D.C., on Sunday night during protests and riots in the nation’s capital.
  • The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Matt Miller said he was approached by a rioter who threatened to tell the crowd where Miller worked, and then told other protesters that he worked for the DCNF. 
  • “No journalist deserves to be treated like this while reporting,” Miller said. “And this effort to suppress the media clearly outlines intent to commit criminal action, which many of the rioters were.”

Daily Caller News Foundation reporter Matt Miller did not know he would be threatened and forced to flee when he went downtown to cover protests and riots following the death of George Floyd on Sunday night in Washington, D.C.

Rioters set cars on fire and looted businesses as activists protested the death of Floyd, a black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, according to video of the incident. The police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been fired and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

“The city was in complete chaos last night,” Miller, 23, told the DCNF. He and several other Daily Caller reporters covered the protests and riots through the early hours of Monday. “I think so far, last night was the most violent and contentious we’ve seen in D.C.” (RELATED: Rioters Vandalize WWII Memorial, DC Monuments)

Between midnight and 12:30 a.m., Miller was approached by a rioter whom he described as a “squeaky little Antifa-looking guy” about three blocks from the White House. Miller is unsure what street he was on, but said it might have been H or G Street.

Video footage from the incident showed the rioter threatening Miller, saying, “I know you’re with the Daily Caller, and you can either leave, or I’ll tell people.”

Miller asked him, “Are you threatening me?” to which the rioter responded, “I’m not threatening you — I’m just letting you know what I’m going to do.”

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“I then tried to distance myself from him while still getting footage of the looters,” Miller said. “Seconds later, he yelled something like, ‘Daily Caller reporter over here, Fox News fascist!'”

Miller continued: “I was quickly surrounded by the rioters who began throwing water bottles and other projectiles at me while threatening me. I heard one say, ‘Fuck up that bitch-ass n*****!’ and other threats to that effect.”

A U.S. flag burns during a protest near the White House in response to the killing of George Floyd May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“I was unsure what to do — I didn’t know if I could outrun them or would have to scrap it out with them,” Miller said.

As he tried to figure out what to do, a protester wearing a medic uniform approached him.

“Hey, I’ve seen mob violence before — you need to run right now,” Miller said the protester told him. He ushered Miller down the street a bit before Miller “took off sprinting.” A group of about 20 rioters followed him, Miller said.

“I was pursued for about two blocks before they gave up and I heard one say, ‘He’s not worth it,'” Miller said. “I ran to Dupont Circle five to six blocks away from where I was.”

Demonstrators face off with the police in front of the White House as they protest against the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police in Washington, D.C. on May 31, 2020. (Photo by SAMUEL CORUM/AFP via Getty Images)

“There was a convoy of about four police cars with officers outside them right in the middle of Dupont, so I walked up toward them in case I was followed,” Miller added. “When I felt safe, I called my dad and told him what happened to calm down. Then I called the other members of my team to make sure all were safe.”

Miller does not know how the rioter identified him and his place of work, since Miller was wearing a black T-shirt as a mask at the time. (RELATED: Historic St. John’s Church Set Ablaze In DC As Another Night Of Riots Engulfs Country)

“No journalist deserves to be treated like this while reporting,” Miller said. “And this effort to suppress the media clearly outlines intent to commit criminal action, which many of the rioters were.”

“Safety for journalists should be upheld always, and when it isn’t, it is a huge red flag, in my opinion.”

Miller also said how grateful he is to the protester in the medic’s uniform who tried to assist him.

“I think it just goes to show even in the darkest places and the worst situations, good can be found,” he added. (RELATED: ‘Domestic Terrorism’: Bill Barr Condemns Riots In Statement)

It remains unclear whether the rioter who threatened Miller was with Antifa. Miller, who has reported on Antifa events in the past, said he has previously been identified by the left-wing group as a Daily Caller reporter.

“Antifa actively doxxes and threatens journalists, and he definitely looked the part,” Miller said of the rioter. “He looked, sounded and smelled like Antifa, but no, I can’t say for sure if that’s what he was.”

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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser suggested Monday morning that professional protesters from outside the city were responsible for the majority of the violence that occurred during the riots.

“We know that we have people that came here with tools and supplies, and they re-upped their supplies,” Bowser said. “So we think there was a mix of people here who do this type of protest and demonstration. We’ve seen some of these tactics before, so we know that they were among the groups here.”

President Donald Trump has suggested that anarchist groups such as Antifa are using the protests to incite violence. Trump tweeted Sunday that he will designate the radical left-wing group as a “terrorist organization.”

Attorney General Bill Barr has also warned that “in many places it appears the violence is planned, organized, and driven by far left extremist groups and anarchic groups using antifa-like tactics.”

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