Before Super Tuesday, a Trump rally in Radford, Virginia, became yet another scene of violence when a Secret Service officer and Time magazine photographer Chris Morris got in a heated argument over how close Morris was able to get to a Black Lives Matter demonstration taking place during the rally.
The argument began with the officer telling Morris to “Get in the pen,” referring to the cordoned-off area for reporters, to which Morris responded, “F*** you.” The footage was recorded by Joe Perticone, a reporter for the Independent Journal.
The full attack is seen from a different angle here:
The Secret Service officer then stood over Morris as Morris tried to kick him away. He then got to his feet, and mimicked what the officer did to him, by putting his hand at his neck, before being escorted away by police.
Following the altercation, Morris spoke with CNN reporter Jim Acosta about what had taken place, saying, “I stepped 18 inches out of the pen and he grabbed my by the neck and started choking me and slammed me to the ground.”
Morris also told Acosta he would not press charges. Later, he did release a statement regarding the event. “I’ve worked for nine years at the White House and have never had an altercation with the Secret Service,” he said. “What happened today was very unfortunate and unexpected. The rules at Trump events are significantly stricter than other campaigns and make it very difficult to work as a photographer, as many others have pointed out before me. I regret my role in the confrontation, but the agent’s response was disproportionate and unnecessarily violent. I hope this incident helps call attention to the challenges of press access.”
Both the Trump campaign and the Secret Service released statements, and both said they will not be taking further action until additional information regarding the incident is available.
Black Live Matter activists have been making their voices heard at Trump rallies all over the country. See how they have taken up the responsibility of protesting his racist campaign:
(Photo: AP Photo/Steve Helber)