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Reporter shot with pepper bullets live on TV while covering Louisville protests

Reporter shot with pepper bullets on live TV during Louisville protest over death of Breonna Taylor
WATCH: Reporter shot with pepper bullets on live TV during Louisville protest over death of Breonna Taylor

As protests over the killing of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman fatally shot by police in her apartment, continued for a second night in Louisville, Kentucky, the demonstrations once again escalated, with police clashing with protesters and journalists.

In a video which has now been shared widely on social media, local Louisville-based journalist Kaitlin Rust is seen shot by what appears to be pepper bullets while reporting live on television.

Rust, a reporter at WAVE-TV 3 News, can be heard yelling “I’ve been shot! I’ve been shot!” as the video shows a police officer aiming at the camera crew.

READ MORE: George Floyd death: Protests erupt across U.S., some turn violent

Asked by her colleagues who the police are aiming at, Rust is heard saying “at us, like directly at us.”

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While it is unclear why police began firing at the reporter, in the video, Rust said she and her crew are behind the police line.

26-year-old woman killed during what her family’s attorney calls “botched” execution of warrant
26-year-old woman killed during what her family’s attorney calls “botched” execution of warrant

In a statement posted to Twitter in response to the video, the Radio Television Digital News Association said a journalist’s job is “to show the world what’s happening in our communities.”

“Local reporter @KaitlinRustWAVE keeps reporting even while being targeted by police, and viewers at home stare down the barrel of a police weapon,” the tweet reads.

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On Friday, Louisville police spokeswoman Jessie Halladay apologized, saying the incident was “not something that should have occurred if she was singled out as a reporter.”

Halladay told The Courier Journal that 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.”

On Thursday, seven people were shot and at least one was in critical condition after the protests erupted in Louisville.

The protests were in response to the killing of 26-year-old Taylor who was shot eight times by narcotics detectives in her own home during an early-morning raid in March.

On Friday, Kentucky governor Andy Beshear shared a statement from Taylor’s mother on Twitter.

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In her statement, Tamika Palmer said Taylor, an EMT, devoted her life to others and that the “last thing she’d want right now is any more violence.”

“Please keep saying her name,” the statement reads. “Please keep demanding justice and accountability, but let’s do it the right way without hurting each other. We can and we will make some real change here. Now is the time. Let’s make it happen, but safely.”

READ MORE: Mother of Breonna Taylor, Black woman shot by U.S. police, calls for peace amid protests

The shootings in Louisville occurred as separate protests escalated in Minneapolis over the death of a George Floyd, a Black man seen on video gasping for air while a white police officer knelt on his neck.

On Friday, a CNN reporter and his crew were arrested while covering the events in Minneapolis.

“A CNN reporter and his production team were arrested this morning in Minneapolis for doing their jobs, despite identifying themselves – a clear violation of their First Amendment rights,” CNN wrote on Twitter. “The authorities in Minnesota, including the governor, must release the three CNN employees immediately.”

The reporter, Omar Jimene, and his crew were released approximately an hour later.

— With files from Reuters and The Associated Press

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