A Secret Service agent slammed a Time magazine photographer to the ground Monday during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, CNN reported. Several videos of the confrontation circulated on social media.
Time’s Christopher Morris was tackled to the ground when he tried to photograph an outburst by Black Lives Matter protesters.
Morris told CNN that he stepped “18 inches” outside of the press pen to snap a photo of the departing protesters when he was approached by an agent. In video of the incident shared by the Independent Journal’s Joe Perticone, Morris can be heard saying “fuck you” to the agent, who then tackled him to the ground:
Secret Service agent choke slams reporter pic.twitter.com/jdsHOlylSB
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) February 29, 2016
CBS News reporter Sopan Deb shared a statement from the Trump campaign asking reporters to direct questions to law enforcement until they are appraised of “all details surrounding the incident.”
Trump campaign statement on altercation between photographer and Secret Service agent in press pen at event in VA. pic.twitter.com/oiG3vw8EhL
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) February 29, 2016
Morris told CNN that he never touched the agent and did not plan to press charges.
Time photog Chris Morris tells me how he was grabbed and taken down at Trump rally pic.twitter.com/XKDJarpXda
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) February 29, 2016
In a response published on their site, Time editors say they have reached out to the Secret Service “to express concerns about the level and nature of the agent’s response.”
A Secret Service spokesperson did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment, but the agency released a statement to Time acknowledging it is investigating the confrontation.
“The Secret Service is aware of an incident involving an employee of the Secret Service that occurred earlier today in Radford, VA,” the statement reads. “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.”
Trump’s rally in Radford, Virginia was repeatedly interrupted by groups of Black Lives Matter protesters and pro-immigration activists. The GOP candidate tried to keep the mood jovial even as multiple groups of demonstrators were escorted from the event, asking the audience, “Isn’t it fun being at a Trump rally?”
This post has been updated.