Minnesota journalist attacked by Trump supporter at rally

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota photojournalist was attacked by a supporter of President Donald Trump who punched a cellphone out of the reporter’s hands near the president’s rally in Duluth.

Police said Thursday they are working to identify the man, who left before officers arrived.

WCCO-TV photojournalist Dymanh Chhoun was filming people gathered near Duluth’s airport before Trump’s campaign visit on Wednesday when he zeroed in on a man confronting Joe Biden supporters.

Chhoun’s footage shows the man say, “You guys want to be peaceful? Be peaceful. You want to be violent? Come to me.” He then turns and punches Chhoun’s phone.

Chhoun was not hurt and his phone wasn’t damaged, WCCO reported. It said Chhoun had identified himself as a member of the media and has experience covering protests, including the unrest in the Twin Cities after the death of George Floyd.

“I take personal exception when anyone puts my guy in danger,” WCCO assignment manager Guy Still tweeted, adding: “You want to see a true American patriot? Look no further. Thank you Dymanh.”

Politicians from both parties spoke out against the attack. Minnesota’s Democratic party released a statement Thursday calling for the state’s Republican party to formally condemn it.

“Political violence is never acceptable under any circumstances,” DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said. “It is essential that political campaigns remain peaceful and that everyone treats members of the media with the respect they deserve.”

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis tweeted that the attack was “very upsetting,” and said police should investigate.

“Freedom of the Press is protected by the Constitution, and that needs to be understood and respected,” Lewis said.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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