A photographer has said he was placed in a chokehold and thrown to the ground by a Secret Service agent while covering a Donald Trump rally.
Chris Morris, a photographer for Time, said the agent choked him and slammed him to the ground on Monday as he tried to leave a media pen at the event in Virginia where a protest erupted. Video footage shows the photographer on the ground, kicking out at the agent as if to protect himself. Other video shows the photographer cursing the agent prior to the phyiscal altercation, saying: "F**k you."
“I’m not pressing charges,” Mr Morris later told CNN. “I stepped 18 inches out of the pen and he grabbed me by the neck and started choking me and then he slammed me to the ground.”
The incident took place at the rally at Radford University. The event was interrupted several times by protesters bearing Black Lives Matters banners.
Last week it was reported that some students planned to protest by bringing books and reading through the rally.
The university sent a note to students last week that read: “As an institution of higher education, we at Radford University must be tolerant of all viewpoints, even those with which we may not agree.”
Mr Trump has repeatedly denounced the media at his campaign events and accused it of treating him unfairly. Last week, he said he wanted to introduce new libel laws that would limit press freedom.
Photographer did put hand on agent's neck -- but only after the incident in order to demonstrate how he was choked: https://t.co/9Ah54hsvTh— Michael Calderone (@mlcalderone) February 29, 2016
“We’re going to open up our libel laws so when [newspapers] write purposely negative stories … we can sue them and make lots of money,” he said.
Time said that Mr Morris had kicked at the agent who was trying to restrain him. He also briefly put his hand on the agent’s neck to demonstrate the choke hold the agent had placed on him.
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
Time said it had contacted the Secret Service to express concerns “about the level and nature of the agent’s response”.
In a statement, the agency said: “The Secret Service is aware of an incident involving an employee of the Secret Service that occurred earlier today in Radford.
“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.”
A spokeswoman for Mr Trump said: “We are not aware of all details surrounding the incident and all future inquiries should be directed to local law enforcement.”Reuse content