Many major cities in the United States descended into turmoil Friday night in the wake of protests over George Floyd's death while in police custody. Both clashes in the streets and peaceful demonstrations were reported on from around the country, with Fox News as one of those teams on the ground, facing a scary situation in the nation's capital.
Washington, D.C. was one of those flashpoints on Friday, with protesters grouping near The White House in Lafayette Park and clashing with D.C. Police and Secret Service throughout the night. Many news networks were on hand, including Fox News with reporter Leland Vittert. He has been with the network since 2010 and described by Variety as having faced several heated areas around the globe. Friday turned out to be another one.
Footage captured and shared by The Daily Caller, the conservative news and opinion site founded by Fox News host Tucker Carlson, shows Vittert and the Fox News crew accompanying him leaving the scene of the protest while being followed by a mob of protesters.
The clip shows Vittert hunkering down between a cameraman and a security guard, distress clearly on his face. Midway through the clip, some masked protesters attempted to grab the camera and surrounded the group. Protesters followed shouting profanities at the reporter and chasing the camera crew out of the area. The incident comes hours after a CNN news crew was arrested and detained in Minneapolis while reporting on demonstrations in the city.
Vittert appeared on Fox News with host Neil Cavuto Saturday, calling the experience the "the scariest situation I've been in since I got chased out of Tahrir Square by a mob, and this was equally scary."
The Fox News incident is one of many that popped up on Friday night. A reporter in Louisville, Kentucky, and her camera crew were shot with pepper balls by police. The incident was captured on camera with the police officer targeting the news team specifically. CNN, Fox News and other news entities denounced the incidents, with Fox News releasing a statement on the event.
"[These actions against Fox News Media reporting teams as well as all other reporters from the media outlets who are simply trying to do their jobs and report the news during an extraordinary time in our country's history. Yesterday, we denounced the detainment of the CNN crew in Minneapolis and stood with them to protect all journalists' right to report without fear or favor," the statement read.