DC Protesters Accosted, Chased Out An NBC Crew. The Network Isn’t Covering It. We Have It On Video

(Screenshot: Twitter/Shelby Talcott)

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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A few protesters in Washington, D.C. accosted and chased out an NBC News crew early Wednesday morning. The network has so far remained silent about the incident.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was reporting just after midnight Wednesday. The network was jumping from one live feed to another, showing protests around the country which have erupted following the death of George Floyd.

At 12:10 a.m., a live feed was showing protesters in Washington, D.C. The live feed was cut right as the camera could be seen getting shaky. The network did not air the attack, which occurred at 12:11 a.m., and appears to have not yet reported on it, according to a media search done by the Media Research Center (MRC) of MSNBC and NBC News. The research did not include NBC News Now.

A Daily Caller reporter was on the scene and captured the entire incident.


“People in Lafayette Square Park, milling about about five hours after curfew. The scene seems energetic but not in a state of unrest at this moment,” Hayes said, seconds before the incident occurred and the network cut the feed from D.C.

Footage from the Caller shows the crew getting chased out by protesters. One cameraman fell to the ground during the chase, although it was unclear if he was pushed or had tripped. The crew was accompanied by some protesters who protected them and the group retreated to a police line nearby.

A member of the crew told the Caller reporter that the protesters responsible for the attack got angry that the crew was filming and that the situation escalated.

NBC News first declined to comment on the incident. NBC News and MSNBC were contacted by the Daily Caller regarding MRC’s research and informed that there was footage of the attack. The networks were given the opportunity to respond and dispute MRC’s research but did not respond.

NBC News correspondent Ellison Barber, who was on the ground at the time of the incident according to the MSNBC live feed, has not tweeted about it.

Hayes did not return to a live feed from D.C. until 12:51 a.m. The attack was not mentioned at that time. The network opted to air footage from Los Angeles, Sacramento, Seattle, New York City and San Jose between the time of the attack and when the network returned to its live feed of D.C.

MSNBC aired earlier footage from Washington, D.C. at 12:46 a.m. before returning to the live feed.

“Let’s just see, we have a shot there right now [Washington, D.C.], this is the enormous sort of barrier fence that’s been erected on the other side of the park to keep protesters outside of the park, away from the White House,” Hayes said as footage showed protesters holding signs up against the fence.

“About a hundred yards back from there is the National Guard, you can see them there, lined up in their riot shields. Some moments ago there was people shaking the fence, yelling through the fence, it appears some tear gas was fired at the protesters, people have regrouped now and you see a line of people still there, still with their hands up against the fence.”

The Caller journalist on the ground at the time reported that tear gas was not fired, as the canister appeared to be filled with smoke.


Hayes continued, noting that the crowd was “quite thinned out.” He added that the scene was “noisy and somewhat tense from the reports that we’ve been getting,” but still did not mention the earlier attack on the network’s crew.

A few minutes before the crew was chased out of the park, Barber reported that protesters were being peaceful.

“The protesters here, though, they are peaceful. Some of them were just singing ‘Happy Birthday’ earlier,” Barber said just before they were chased out. “They are frustrated, they still have a message that they want people to hear. But they, we have not seen them do anything other than peacefully protest here tonight. If you walk a little with me this way, you can see some of the line of heavily armed police in riot gear. Military police, just over here on the other side of the fence.”

“They backed up a lot further now but they have been out here for hours. Again, the protesters on this side, they are peaceful, they are speaking out and they have stayed on this side of the fence,” Barber continued, before restating again that the protesters were peaceful.

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough reported Wednesday morning that an Australian news crew was beaten up in Washington, D.C. by police, calling them “jackasses.” He did not mention the other incident that occurred when protesters chased the NBC News crew out of the park, MRC’s research indicated.

Tuesday’s protests did see almost an entire night of peace, according to reports from numerous Caller journalists on the ground. The incident with the NBC News crew occurred during a small window of time when the protests became uneasy and somewhat violent, footage from the Caller shows.

The incident early Wednesday morning follows numerous attacks on journalists by both protesters and police officials. A Fox News crew was similarly accosted and chased off outside of the White House on May 30. (RELATED: CNN Correspondent Arrested Live On-Air During Minneapolis Riots)