Alabama journalists assaulted in downtown Birmingham as city hit by rioters, looters (VIDEO)
Reporters with at least two Alabama media outlets were physically attacked as vandalism and looting ignited in the heart of downtown Birmingham on Sunday night.
A livestream broadcast on Facebook captured the shocking incident, which occurred right outside of Alabama Power Company’s headquarters.
At least two masked men then began swinging at Madison Underwood of Alabama Media Group. The livestream cut out with Underwood on the ground, attempting to protect himself as the men kicked him, and another Alabama Media Group reporter yelling for help.
It was not immediately clear where the Birmingham Police Department was during the attack.
This came after the group of rioters had vandalized several prominent buildings, including the Harbert Center. The group burned an American flag that was hanging in downtown Birmingham and attempted to do so with a State flag as well.
You can see the scene unfold at the end of the video here or below.
— Jessa Reid Bolling (@jr_bolling) June 1, 2020
Alabama Media Group has said on social media that their reporters on the scene have gotten to safety. Quinn posted that he is “okay.” Underwood was reportedly evaluated by a registered nurse.
UPDATE 12:15 a.m.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has addressed the vandalism, looting and violence that occurred.
Birmingham, this is not the road to reform. Do not destroy the community you worked to build. pic.twitter.com/yDgW9JBdqF
— Randall Woodfin (@randallwoodfin) June 1, 2020
UPDATE 12:20 a.m.
Underwood tweeted, “That was terrible. I’m glad my colleagues are okay. I’m okay. My nose is swollen and bleeding. My phone is gone. I’m thankful to the folks who dragged me out of there, who checked on me, who said nice things. Not sure why that went bad so quickly.”
This is breaking news and may be updated.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn