PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man who police say assaulted an Associated Press photographer in Philadelphia as the journalist was on assignment covering the city’s police commissioner was charged in the attack.
Derrick King, 31, was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering another person and resisting arrest. It’s unknown if the Philadelphia man has retained an attorney.
Matt Rourke was making photos of Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and Mayor Jim Kenney in North Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon while the two city officials spent time with community members ahead of a protest of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minnesota after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes.
Before the protest began, Rourke was part of a news crew interviewing and photographing Kenney and Outlaw as they crossed the street.
A bystander walked up to Rourke, struck him in the face, causing him to lose consciousness and fall to the ground, striking his head, police said Friday.
It’s unclear what prompted the attack.
Outlaw was one of the first people to tend to Rourke as he lay bloodied on the ground.
Several police officers who were also walking with the group attempted to tackle the bystander. The man kicked officers and attempted to bite their hands and arms, police said. He was then taken into custody.
Rourke was treated at a hospital for significant facial injuries. He has been released.