BBC Cameraman Attacked At Trump Rally in El Paso, Texas Monday Night
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
February 12, 2019
A man wearing a Make America Great Again hat allegedly assaulted a BBC cameraman while he was filming a rally held by President Donald Trump in El Paso, Texas on Monday (February 11).
Ron Skeans, a cameraman for BBC, said he was busy filming the rally when he felt a "very hard shove" from behind. Skeans says he had no idea what was going on when he turned to see what happened. The man assaulting him nearly knocked his camera over twice before being wrestled away by another man. Footage from the BBC during the time of the incident shows Trump in frame while he delivers his speech. Then, the camera can be seen suddenly knocked to show the floor. When the camera pans back up, a man in a MAGA hat can be seen cursing at the news crews while he's dragged away by another man.
The crowd begins chanting "CNN sucks!" while the man who assaulted the cameraman was dragged away.
The commotion even attracted the president's attention, who shielded his eyes to try and see what the disturbance was.
"You all right? Everything OK?" the president asked, pointing where the cameras were set up. Skeans said he returned the president's thumbs up before returning to his speech.
"It was an incredibly violent attack. Fortunately, our cameraman is fine," BBC Washington correspondent Gary O'Donoghue said in a radio interview with BBC Radio 4's Today program. "He is made of stern stuff."
O'Donoghue said he wasn't surprised by the incident.
"This is a constant feature of these rallies - a goading of the crowds against the media," Mr O'Donoghue said, added that he had been "spat at before."
The man reportedly assaulted other news crews who were at the event.
"BBC cameraman Ron Skeans was violently pushed and shoved by a member of the crowd while covering a President Trump rally in Texas last night. The man was removed by security and Ron is fine. The President could see the incident and checked with us that all was ok," a BBC spokesperson said in a statement. "It is clearly unacceptable for any of our staff to be attacked for doing their job."
The president was in El Paso, which is located on the border with Mexico, to campaign for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a central issue for his administration.
Photo: Getty Images