Camerawoman Who Kicked Migrant Kids: I 'Snapped'

Petra Laszlo says she isn't a 'heartless, child-kicking, racist camera-person'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2015 7:47 AM CDT
In this image taken from TV, a Hungarian camerawoman, center left in blue, kicks at a young migrant near Roszke, Hungary, on Tuesday.   (Index.Hu. via AP)

(Newser) – Despite the general opinion after a video surfaced of her kicking Syrian migrants, Hungarian Petra Laszlo says she is "not a heartless, child-kicking, racist camera-person." Rather, "something snapped in my head" when hundreds of migrants broke through a police barricade not far from the Serbian border in Roszke, Hungary, and "one of them ran into me," Laszlo writes in a letter, per AFP and New York Times. "As I had my camera in my hand I couldn't see who was coming at me, my only thought was that I was going to be attacked, and that I had to defend myself."

Laszlo, who was filmed kicking a child and tripping a man with a child in his arms, says, "As a mother I'm particularly sorry that fate had it that a child was running at me, and I wasn't able to sense that." She adds, "I honestly regret what I have done and take responsibility for it," but she says she doesn't "deserve either the political witch hunt that is going on against me or the smears or the many death threats … It's not easy to make a good decision when you're in a panic." Laszlo has since been fired from Internet-based station N1TV and faces criminal charges of breaching the peace. (Read more migrants stories.)

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