WATCH: ABC7 photographer knocked down, injured in downtown inauguration protests
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
In the middle of the protest an incident occurred that hit home here at ABC7 News. Photographer Vanessa Koolhof was injured while covering what was happening in the streets of DC.
We want to mention right off the top Vanessa is going to be ok but for a few moments on live TV, it was frightening to watch.
All of us were watching live when our Reporter Sam Sweeney and photojournalist Vanessa Koolhof were right in the middle of a standoff in Northwest DC near the National Mall.
Protesters creating a human barricade attempting to block access to the Inauguration. Suddenly something goes terribly wrong.
ABC7 News Anchor Larry Smith on the news desk says "Sam we understand that some arrests are being made... Can you hear us?
News Channel 8 Anchor Dave Lucas adds "Starting to get pushed around a little bit out there, Sam? "
Sam Sweeney says "We are actually being pushed."
You can hear a police officer say to a protester "Step aside... get going."
Sam Sweeney says "Wait...wait."
Then a Police Officer says "Let her up. Let her up."
Sam Sweeney later says it happened very quickly "The photographer Vanessa who I was working with lined up the shot and we were ready to go and that split second is when a Trump supporter came in. Tried to break the barrier and the pushing and the shoving started. Maybe a half dozen to a dozen police officers came in and tried to break it up and make room and tried to calm the situation. That's when they were getting shoves. The protesters were getting shoved. The Trump Supporter was getting shoved and it became an ugly situation really quick."
Sam wasn’t hurt but our colleague Vanessa got knocked over and injured. Police move in quickly.
Sam Sweeney says "They came up from behind her and grabbed her under her arms and made sure she was safe."
Sam says he never felt in danger even though there was a lot of tension in the air "I knew she was going to be okay when they tried to cut her jacket off. Her ABC7 station jacket and she said "No, no, no don't cut it off I can move, don't cut my coat... that was good sign."
Vanessa has some bumps and bruises but will be okay. ABC7 News wants to thank the DC Police Department for moving in quickly and helping our injured co-worker.