Despite an exemption in the Minneapolis curfew that allowed members of the press to remain outside after 8 p.m. Saturday, numerous journalists and photographers were injured as police and the National Guard went on the offensive to limit damage and looting that had been seen the previous three nights in the city.
At the 5th Precinct at 31st Street and Nicollet Avenue, the Minnesota State Patrol advanced on protesters and media when L.A. Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske said troopers fired tear gas canisters at point-blank range.
"We identified ourselves as press and they fired tear gas canisters at us at point-blank range. I got hit in the leg," she said. "I was saying 'Where do we go?' They did not tell us where to go, they did not direct us. They just fired on us."
She said they had to scale a brick wall and take shelter in a random building.
"There's police walking along the street not allowing us to go out," she said, posting a photo of her badly bruised and scraped leg.
"I’ve covered protests involving police in Ferguson, Mo., Baton Rouge, La., Dallas and Los Angeles. I’ve also covered the U.S. military in war zones, including Iraq and Afghanistan. I have never been fired at by police until tonight," Hennessy-Fiske said.
An L.A. Times photographer wound up going to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.
Many of the assaults on media were shown on live television, with reporters from FOX 9 seeing rubber bullets smash their station vehicle windshield, along with WCCO reporters Jeff Wagner and Mike Max seen on live TV running from tear gas and rubber bullets.
Star Tribune reporters Ryan Faircloth and Chao Xiong were attempting to drive home near Lake Street when Faircloth said they "mistakenly turned down a street that was blocked off at the end," and "before we had a chance to reverse, the "Guard/ State Patrol fired #rubber bullets at our car without warning."
The shattered glass cut Faircloth's face and arm and left shards of glass inside their vehicle.
Freelance reporter Jared Goyette found himself being rapidly approached by law enforcement who threatened him, but did not fire any munitions in his direction after he screamed at them to make it clear he was a member of the media.
"As I read report after report of officers last night spraying and shooting less lethals at reporters even after they know its reporters ... I feel pretty OK with Jared’s intense response here. For context, he’d already been shot in the face once this week," wrote FiveThirtyEight's Maggie Koerth.
Michael Anthony-Adams of Vice News was sheltering at a gas station when police arrived in Minneapolis. He calmly explained to an officer that he was press but was still forced down to the ground and then pepper-sprayed in the face for no apparent reason.
"Press! Press! Press!" he says in the video, with the officer demanding he get down and responding "I don't care."