Photo by betto rodrigues via Shutterstock

A night covering Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles protests had peaceful moments, but parts turned to mayhem in the evening hours as scuffles broke out and a Scriberr field correspondent was attacked. 

Scriberr field reporter Kalen D’Almeida was attacked at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Highland Ave. between Hawthorne and Selma in Hollywood, California on April 15 while live-streaming and gathering footage for a Scriberr news package. He said his commentary was minimal. 

Reporter Kalen D’Almeida

Before D’Almeida’s coverage in Hollywood, he and Executive Editor Hailey Gomez covered a peaceful protest in Pasadena just a few hours prior, which will be released this week. 

Prior to the attack, his phone was stolen by two white male masked protesters dressed in Black-Bloc and thrown over a chained fence adjacent to D’Almeida. Without knowing the phone had been thrown, D’Almeida followed the protesters and asked for his phone back.

“At which point, someone in the crowd, one of his comrades, basically was like, ‘hey, you know, watch out,’ because they thought I was gonna go do something. And then all of a sudden the the mob started forming, they started calling me a Nazi and fascist and they claim that I spoke to someone that they didn’t like,” D’Almeida told Scriber News.

“And so they started to herd me down the street away from police,” he said.

Gomez, who was on the scene during the attack filming, estimated there were roughly 150 people in total marching through Hollywood. 

“Police were behind us, and they [protesters] were pushing me and pushing me and pushing me and getting in my way, trying to make me fall to the floor. And then someone ran up and just sucker punched me––I never saw that point, I just knocked out,” he said. 

Video footage from other streamers on the ground confirm D’Almeida was cornered against a fence. A woman, who D’Almeida said was one of the chapter leaders, came and stood in front of him and told the attackers to stop and keep walking.

 “People are fighting for their f*cking lives, its not a joke, leave us the f*ck alone … I saved you this time, get out of here, this is your last chance,” the woman said to D’Almeida as he was on the ground. 

D’Almeida said when he was on the ground, he was being kicked and punched repeatedly. He recalls his head being stomped on as well. 

“They all kind of pushed him into an angle, and I was trying to either do something that was distracting, I didn’t know how to help. So I pushed my way up there. By the time I already got out there he’s against the fence he’s on the ground,” Gomez told Scriberr News. 

Video footage shows a handful of police walking by D’Almeida as he got up from the ground and began to walk away. He did not file a police report. Los Angeles Police Department announced the protest an unlawful assembly shortly after the vigil.

“He actually didn’t retaliate at all,” Gomez said. “By the time I saw him, his hands were up and he was saying ‘okay’ to everything and they were telling him to get out and calling him a Nazi.”

D’Almeida said the beginning of the protest was peaceful as protesters held a vigil for Daunte Wright and other officer-involved shooting victims. 

Wright was a a 20-year-old black male who was fatally shot by police officer Kimberly Potter during a traffic stop for expired plates in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 11. Demonstrations have been held for the past week in Minnesota and other states. 

Scriberr News understands issues of police relations can spark heightened protests––with some becoming riots––as these issues impact communities deeply. However, we greatly condemn violence, especially against members of the press no matter which side of the political aisle an issue falls under. Independent and nonpartisan reporters must be safe to do their jobs without fear of retaliation for a free press model to remain. 

Written ByScriberr News

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