Criminals in Chicago robbed a team of news reporters covering a story about robbery. Three armed men in ski masks threatened the journalists from Spanish-speaking outlet Univision Chicago and stole their camera equipment and personal items.
Luis Godinez, Vice President of Univision Chicago, described how the group were dispatched to the West Town area of the Windy City to cover a recent spate of armed robberies, not expecting to become victims themselves. Police do not have any suspects but say the robbers pulled up in a gray SUV, committed the crime, and then fled in the same vehicle.
The reporters have not been named, but Mr. Godinez said they are unhurt. The thieves stole the footage, and the story never made it to air.
The incident comes only weeks after another group of reporters suffered a similar attack. On August 8, thugs assaulted a photographer from WLS TV while covering a conference on the city’s West Side.
Raza Siddiqui, president of the National Association of Broadcast Employees, said the union will organize safety meetings for members to discuss their work’s dangers and determine how the union can best support them.
“We want to make sure that we provide a longer-lasting solution that we work not only with management but our members, and make sure that we read some protocols that everyone is happy with,” Siddiqui said.
Attacks on news crews are not uncommon and are increasing. One of the more serious involved Dillon Collier who, with his colleague Joshua Saunders, were reporting on a house fire in San Antonio when they were shot at by a man wielding two handguns.
When two journalists interviewed a city official in San Francisco in 2021, a man pulled a gun on them but was frightened off by a nearby security guard.
The Radio Television Digital News Association said around one in five reporters or photographers experience violence or threat. Most incidents occur at mass political rallies.