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NBC News reporter hit by flash-bang grenade while covering Seattle protests

NBC News reporter hit by flash-bang grenade while covering Seattle protests
© NBC News

A NBC News correspondent was hit by a flash-bang grenade on Monday during a live broadcast of coverage of a protest in Seattle over George Floyd’s death.

Jo Ling Kent, clad in a mask to protect against tear gas, was reporting from a sports complex about the demonstration in the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood when her left arm was hit by a fiery, orange burst.

The projectile was initially thought to a firework but after reviewing the footage, the network determined that it was a flash-bang grenade mostly likely fired by police. 

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Kent and her crew quickly left the area while still on air.

She said on Twitter that her whole team is safe and apologized for a few expletives that slipped during the incident. 

“I’m totally fine - my jacket sleeve got singed and that’s it,” she wrote, thanking those who reached out to offer support.

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Brian Williams, NBC's in-studio anchor, says that the network has dispatched security details to accompany reporters covering the protests.  

The Seattle Police Department declared that the Capitol Hill protest had become a riot after demonstrators threw "rocks, bottles and fireworks at officers."

Dozens of reporters and TV crews have been attacked, arrested or harassed while on the job covering the protests following the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed last week while in Minneapolis police custody. 

A 21-year-old weekend editor at a local television station in Indiana lost his left eye after being struck by a tear gas canister fired by police into a crowd of protesters, and a reporter and camera operator were shot with pepper balls during a live broadcast in Louisville, Ky. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday called for an investigation after police were seen attacking an Australian news crew covering the protests outside of the White House.