MSNBC’s Garrett Haake, Ali Velshi Struck by Rubber Projectiles While Reporting On-Air

By A.J. Katz 

Journalists were among the many Americans hit with projectiles while on the scene during the George Floyd murder protests across the country over the weekend.

Two hail from the same network: Ali Velshi and Garrett Haake, both of MSNBC.

Haake was struck by a rubber projectile on Sunday night as he reported from Washington, D.C., on the protests.


Haake was in the downtown area of the capital, by Lafayette Square, as he reported on police efforts to contain the protests after rioters destroyed cars and damaged buildings. Haake swore to himself as he recorded the sounds of multiple explosions in the distance, and as he decided to move to another position, he eventually screamed “Damn it!” as something hit him.

Katy Tur, who was anchoring the network’s live Sunday night coverage, told Haake to stop talking and move to safety. He told Tur that he was OK, and continued his report by saying he got hit in the side by either a rubber bullet or a pepper ball.

Haake later took to Twitter to explain what happened, and later apologized for swearing on air:

This comes the night after his colleague Ali Velshi was struck by a rubber bullet and later tear gassed while covering protests 1,100 miles away, in Minneapolis. Velshi, the network’s Sunday 8-10 a.m. ET anchor, suddenly exclaimed, “Aw sh*t, all right guys, I got hit.”

He continued, “Yeah, I got hit; hold on.”

Haake and Velshi were far from the only journalists attacked or jailed (at least briefly) over the weekend. According to the site Bellingcat, at least 50 journalists experienced attacks here in the U.S., ranging from a Louisville, Ky.-based local news reporter, to a team of Norwegian and Swedish journalists.

Something you might see in third-world countries, not America.