Photographer Chris Morris
By Steve Neavling
Time has contacted the Secret Service to express concerns over the aggressive nature of an agent who grabbed a news photographer by the neck and slammed him to the ground at a Donald Trump rally Monday.
Chris Morris, a veteran White House photographer who was covering the presidential campaign for Time, said he’s never had problems with the Secret Service.
“I’ve worked for nine years at the White House and have never had an altercation with the Secret Service,” Morris said in a statement. “What happened today was very unfortunate and unexpected. The rules at Trump events are significantly stricter than other campaigns and make it very difficult to work as a photographer, as many others have pointed out before me. I regret my role in the confrontation, but the agent’s response was disproportionate and unnecessarily violent. I hope this incident helps call attention to the challenges of press access.”
The Secret Service issued a statement after the incident: ““The Secret Service is aware of an incident involving an employee of the Secret Service that occurred earlier today in Radford, VA. 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.”
The incident appeared to happen when Morris stepped outside of the press box to shoot Black Lives Matters protesters, who were told to leave the rally.
When told to stand in the restricted area, Morris responded, “Fuck you.”
That’s when the agent choke-slammed the photographer.