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Journalist punched by Trump supporter

The Asian American Journalists Association Thursday condemned the attack on a journalist covering a Trump rally in Duluth, MN.

Photojournalist Dymanh Chhoun grabbed his cell phone to document a confrontation between Trump and Biden supporters, his station WCCO reported.

“You guys want to be peaceful? Be peaceful,” the man said, according to the Huff Post. “You want to be violent? Come to me!” the man continued shortly before turning toward Chhoun and punching the phone out of his hand. He was not hurt.

“AAJA stands in solidarity with our fellow journalists, and condemns threats and attacks that interfere with journalists’ right to do their jobs without fearing for their safety. We urge police to fully investigate this incident,” the AAJA Minnesota Chapter and AAJA National Board of Directors  jointly said in a statement.

Choun admits being rattled by the incident, but said he won’t hesitate to cover a campaign rally again.

“I’m not scared of it, and I will continue to do my job and capture stories for people to watch,” Chhoun said to WCCO.

Police say they will pursue the matter and urged witnesses to come forward. They also say the suspect has been identified, but have not released his name or any details about whether he’s been questioned or arrested.

“The male who hit the phone left without incident several minutes before this event was reported to officers,” police said. “There were no injuries or property damage reported in connection with this incident and no citations issued at this time. The Duluth Police Department is investigating this case.”

This is not the first time a journalist has been attacked by a Trump supporter. Early last year a Trump supporter shoved and swore at a BBC cameraman, the Huff Post recalls. Trump himself has praised attacks on journalists and called them enemies of the people.

“We’re not there with a fear or a favor. We’re there to document the story and tell it as even handedly as we can,” Media ethicist Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute said to WCCO. “And all sides benefit from us doing that.”

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