Louisville police apologize after firing pepper bullets at local news crew during live broadcast

Katilan Rust, a local reporter for CBS affiliate WAVE 3 in Louisville, Kentucky, was hit with pepper bullets fired by law enforcement during chaotic protests after the deaths of Breonna Taylor there and George Floyd in Minneapolis.


TheHill reports a local Louisville, KY., reporter and camera operator were shot with pepper balls in the middle of a live broadcast on Friday covering protests against police brutality.

Video of the encounter shows Kaitlin Rust, a reporter for CBS affiliate WAVE 3 News, narrating as she walks around the area of the protest before suddenly screaming: “I’m getting shot!”

Rust appears shocked but continues reporting, explaining what’s happening as the camera focuses in on an officer pointing a gun with pepper bullets at the cameraman.

“It’s okay it’s those pepper bullets.”

The anchors back in the studio then ask, “who are they aiming at?”

“At us,” Rust responds. “Directly at us.”

Then another anchor says, “they’re shooting at our crew.”

Pepper balls contain chemicals similar to pepper spray and are shot in pellets.

Per Fox News, “I want to apologize,” Louisville police spokeswoman Jessie Halladay told the Courier Journal. “It’s not something that should have occurred if she was singled out as a reporter.”

Halladay said she couldn’t tell who the officer was at this time, but that police would review the video again and “if we need to do any investigation for discipline, we will do that.”

The video shows Rust and the camera crew moving away as indignant in-studio anchors ask if they’re OK and what’s going on. Rust tells them they’re OK, and that the crew was behind the line, but police wanted them to move further away.

“Well I’m sure if they would have just said, ‘Move,’ you would have done so,” an anchor is heard telling Rust.

A clip of the WAVE-TV broadcast posted to Twitter amassed more than 8 million views in less than six hours, and was retweeted more than 50,000 times, including by other journalists and rapper Ice-T.