Video Shows Russia Today Reporter Robbed While Covering Baltimore Riots

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

A stringer for the Russian-owned Russia Today news network was frightened to find herself mobbed and then robbed by a crowd of unruly rioters during the growing riots in Baltimore on Saturday evening.

Paulina Leonovich was assigned to take video of the riots when she suddenly found herself in the midst of a mob. The crowd of young African-Americans began screaming at her and flipping off the camera.

The young men began jostling and pushing at her, and then, as the camera rolled, you can hear Leonovich yelling after her handbag was taken from her. The video feed kept rolling as she gave chase yelling, “Give it back!”

In short order, a couple of Baltimore police stopped the running figure, and Leonovich quickly caught up, still yelling about her bag. By the end of the video, it appears that the man who was running with the bag had throw it across the street, and the reporter looks to have retrieved it.

This is just one small tale as the “protests” meant to highlight police violence turned into riots on Saturday.

Though many news outlets continued to call the protests “peaceful” all week, there were other incidents of violence on Thursday and Friday before Saturday erupted in massive unrest across the city.

By Friday night and early Saturday morning, the protests began to offer more belligerent rhetoric—in one case threatening to “shut down” the city, for instance.

By early evening, fights, looting, property damage, and other destruction were breaking out across the city. Rioters even threatened the Baltimore Orioles baseball park, so much so that fans were ordered to stay inside the park for their safety.

By contrast, so far this year, Baltimore has had 65 homicides with most being death by gunfire. Few of those were at the hands of police.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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