February 29, 2016 – A Time photographer was choke slammed to the ground by Donald Trump’s security detail during a rally Monday at Radford University in Virginia.
Morris, a credentialed journalist, was leaving the designated press pen to take photos of protesters. A video from the moments prior to the incident shows Morris in a heated conversation with the Secret Service agent. Morris is told to “get in the pen,” and responds, “f*ck you.” The agent says “what,” right before the video cuts off. Reporter Joe Perticone says that’s when things got physical.
He told WSET-TV reporter Annie Anderson, “He choked me. I never touched him. At the very end I tried to show the press lead what he did to me, and I said he choked me, so I put my hand on him.”
He told CNN’s Jim Acosta he was stepped 18 inches out of the press pen before he was slammed to the ground by a member of the security team.
Morris has been a war photographer in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. He also documented George W. Bush’s presidency for Time.
Time said in a statement, “We are relieved that Chris is feeling OK, and we expect him to be back at work soon.”
The Trump campaign said, “There was an incident involving a photographer and a USSS agent at today’s Radford University Trump rally. We are not aware of all the details surrounding the incident and all future inquiries should be directed to local law enforcement.”
In a statement, the Secret Service said it “is aware of an incident involving an employee of the Secret Service that occurred earlier today in Radford, VA. At this time, our local field office is working with their law enforcement partners to determine the exact circumstances that led up to this incident. The Secret Service will provide further details as warranted once additional facts surrounding the situation are known.”