Our statement in response to the attack on NBC correspondent Shaquille Brewster
Seeing a white man commit an unprovoked attack against a Black journalist is bothersome given the historical context. NABJ-Chicago is troubled to see any journalist attacked while doing their job, especially one of our members.
Shaquille Brewster, an NBC correspondent and NABJ-CC member recognized throughout the country, was live on-air offering viewers vital updates on the latest developments from Hurricane Ida, when out of nowhere, an ill-tempered man pulls up in his truck, walks over to Shaquille and his crew in the middle of a live shot and begins to berate them. Shaquille attempted to maintain his composure and finish the segment, but the man inexplicably charged toward Shaquille and physically accosted him.
That disturbs us. It’s no secret that journalism can be perilous work; at times we’re asked to cover places that are considered unsafe for most people to go like war zones, hazardous weather locations and crime scenes. Now, though, journalists face a new danger, as a variety of journalism think tanks, multiple media publications and even the United Nations agree that attacks against journalists are a growing threat. We are proud of Shaquille for how he conducted himself during this tense situation. But it never should have happened. We unequivocally denounce violence against journalists in the field. We encourage local authorities to do due diligence in finding, apprehending and holding the man who attacked the crew accountable. We also encourage the public to recognize and respect our journalists in the field, whether in Chicago or around the country. NABJ-CC sends our love and support to Shaquille, the entire NBC News crew, and every crew reporting during this dangerous weather event.