Photog 'Choke-Slammed' at Donald Trump Rally

Christopher Morris says he stepped outside the press pen
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2016 3:47 PM CST
Photog 'Choke-Slammed' at Donald Trump Rally
Photojournalist Christopher Morris is escorted by police during the rally of Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, at Radford University in Radford, Va.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A news photographer was choked and body-slammed to the ground at a Donald Trump rally Monday when he apparently set foot outside a designated press area, Mashable reports. Christopher Morris, working for Time magazine, can be seen in several online videos being attacked by a man at the Virginia event. This tweeted video shows the attack and this one the aftermath, where Morris is kicking at his assailant from the ground; here, Morris can be seen before the attack, apparently hurling an epithet at the attacker. The Trump campaign later said Morris was taken down by a Secret Service agent. The attack occurred when "Black Lives Matter" protesters appeared at the rally and Morris, a war photographer, tried to get a shot of them.

"I stepped 18 inches out of the [press] pen and then he grabbed me by the neck and started choking me and then he slammed me to the ground," Morris tells a CNN reporter in this tweeted video. Morris says in another tweeted video that he was briefly detained when he tried to show a Trump press official what had happened. "I said he choked me, so I put my hand on him, and that's when I was arrested," says Morris. When another photojournalist complained about the attack, the Secret Service agent apparently told him that Morris had "put his hands on me" (this video does appear to show Morris pushing the agent first). As for Trump, he didn't react to the body-slam but did respond when the crowd chanted "All lives matter" to the protesters, the Guardian reports. "Oh folks, isn’t it sad?" said Trump. "We’ve gotta unify our country, we’ve gotta unify our country. But it is fun, and exciting." (More Donald Trump stories.)

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