A United States Secret Service agent was caught on several videos grabbing a photojournalist by the neck and slamming him down on the ground during a Donald Trump rally that had been interrupted by Black Lives Matter protesters earlier today in Virginia.
TIME Magazine photojournalist Chris Morris responded by kicking the agent off him, then standing up and placing his hands on the agent’s neck to demonstrate what had just been done to him.
The agent, a young hotheaded goon wearing a suit along with a badge, gun and ear piece, appeared to realized he had just screwed up.
Morris was trying to move closer to the protesters when the agent stood in front of him, blocking his shot, prompting Morris to tell him “fuck you.”
“What?” the agent responded as if personally insulted before attacking him.
His disdain for journalists apparently rubbed off on this particular agent.
TIME has contacted the U.S. Secret Service to express concerns about the level and nature of the agent’s response. Morris has also expressed remorse for his part in escalating the confrontation. A TIME spokesperson said, “We are relieved that Chris is feeling OK, and we expect him to be back at work soon.”
Unlike other presidential campaigns, which generally allow reporters and photographers to move around at events, Trump has a strict policy requiring reporters and cameramen to stay inside a gated area, which the candidate often singles out for ridicule during his speeches. The entrance to the penned area is generally monitored by the Secret Service detail, which also screens attendees at his events and personally protects the candidate.
The Trump campaign put out a statement following the event. “There was an incident involving a photographer and a USSS agent at today’s Radford University Trump rally,” the statement said. “We are not aware of all the details surrounding the incident and all future inquiries should be directed to local law enforcement.”
The Secret Service also put out a statement: “The Secret Service is aware of an incident involving an employee of the Secret Service that occurred earlier today in Radford, VA. At this time, our local field office is working with their law enforcement partners to determine the exact circumstances that led up to this incident. The Secret Service will provide further details as warranted once additional facts surrounding the situation are known.”
As of now, there are conflicting reports as to whether Morris was arrested or not. He was detained, apparently for placing his hands on the agent’s neck, even though it was obvious he was demonstrating what had just been done to him.
Below is a longer version of one of the videos from above where the crowd is chanting “All Lives Matters” to the protesters chanting “Black Lives Matter.” One person can be heard clapping after the attack on the photojournalist.