- Erin Schaff, a photographer for The New York Times, described being assaulted by Trump supporters during the attack on the US Capitol.
- Schaff was taking pictures as the building was breached, and said a group of men surrounded her, pushed her to the floor and took her press credentials and a camera.
- She was trying to find a place to hide when she says Capitol Police found her, pointed guns at her, and ordered her to get on the ground.
- The officers didn’t believe Schaff was a journalist, she said, since she had no pass. She said two other photojournalists spotted her and intervened, and the officers then helped them hide.
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A New York Times photographer says she was assaulted and then held at gunpoint during Wednesday’s siege of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
Erin Schaff was at the Capitol on Wednesday to cover the confirmation of the Electoral College votes when hundreds of Trump supporters forced their way into the building.
She was one of several Times employees at the Capitol who recounted what happened to them in an article for the paper.
Schaff described hearing the noise of people breaking in and heading towards it. She wrote that she was surrounded by two or three men dressed in black who demanded to know who she worked for.
“Grabbing my press pass, they saw that my ID said The New York Times and became really angry,” Schaff said.
“They threw me to the floor, trying to take my cameras. I started screaming for help as loudly as I could. No one came. People just watched. At this point, I thought I could be killed and no one would stop them.”
“They ripped one of my cameras away from me, broke the lens on the other and ran away,” she said.
Schaff said she then retreated and filmed the rioters, but retreated after police started to use tear gas and pepper spray. At this point she ran into the Capitol Police.
“I told them I was a photojournalist and that my pass had been stolen, but they didn’t believe me,” Schaff said. “They drew their guns, pointed them and yelled at me to get down on my hands and knees.”
“As I lay on the ground, two other photojournalists came into the hall and started shouting, ‘She’s a journalist!'” Schaff said.
The officers then helped the journalists find a room to barricade themselves in, saying it wasn’t safe for them to leave.
The FBI is asking for the public’s help in identifying those who took part in Wednesday’s Capitol siege.
Meanwhile, the chief of the Capitol Police announced plans to resign after his department came under fire for its handling of the riot.