Riots photographer ‘wrestled to ground’ (update 5.03pm)

August 9, 2011

Last night?s reported attack on a press photographer during rioting in Hackney was witnessed by Amateur Photographer?s deputy features editor, it has emerged.

Speaking about the incident, which was also reported by several other witnesses in the area, Gemma Padley (pictured) said: ?I was on Clarence Road at the same time and think I saw the same incident.

?I saw a photographer wrestled to the ground by three or four people and his camera was ripped from him.?

Gemma added: ?I had tried to take some pictures, before I realised it was a stupid, stupid thing to do. There wasn?t a single police officer in sight. It was very scary.?

Gemma did manage to grab one picture, before the violence intensified (see below). ‘I was trying to get a shot of the burning car, just ahead, but realised it was very unsafe to be there.

‘I didn’t have time to adjust the camera settings so the shot is very blurry.

‘I hurriedly put my camera away and got out of there as fast as I could.

‘The cars were about to blow and things were turning increasingly nasty. Youths with covered faces were starting to attack individuals. It was mayhem.’

Moments later, a man nearby had his camera snatched away from him.

Gemma?s story seems to echo an account of an attack given by Guardian journalist Paul Lewis on Twitter.

Lewis tweeted that he saw a press photographer ‘dragged to the ground by four youths and beaten’.

A separate eyewitness told Sky News he had seen a photographer have their camera snatched from them.

Reports suggest that rioters attacked more than one photographer in the area.

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that agency photojournalists are ditching their DSLRs and are instead turning to compact cameras, such as the Canon PowerShot G11, in a bid to remain inconspicuous during the violence.




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Hackney riots picture

Picture credit: Gemma Padley

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