RADFORD, Va. — The Secret Service said it is investigating the circumstances that led to one of its agents choking a photojournalist during a Donald Trump rally in Virginia on Monday.
A photographer for Time magazine was slammed to the ground while attempting to take pictures of protesters during Trump's event at Radford University.
"The Secret Service is aware of an incident involving an employee of the Secret Service that occurred earlier today in Radford, VA," the agency said in a statement. "At this time, our local field office is working with their law enforcement partners to determine the exact circumstances that led up to this incident. The Secret Service will provide further details as warranted once additional facts surrounding the situation are known."
Trump's rally descended into chaos first with nearly a half-dozen interruptions from protesters and then the violent confrontation between the photographer and security.
Just after Trump had joked about when Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders was interrupted by two female Black Lives Matter protesters at one of his events, Trump was forced to pause his remarks as dozens of African-American students stood up and began heckling him. While they were being escorted out of the event by security personnel, a photographer trying to capture the moment on camera was slammed to the ground by a Secret Service agent.
The photographer was trying to get a good angle to cover the protesters without leaving the press pen and the Secret Service agent kept asking him to back up. The photographer replied, "F--k you." The agent then choked him and tossed him to the ground, after which the photographer started kicking.
The photographer was Chris Morris from Time magazine. He was credentialed to cover the event. The magazine said in a statement Monday afternoon: "We are relieved that Chris is feeling OK, and we expect him to be back at work soon."
Trump's campaign in its own statement acknowledged "an incident involving a photographer and a USSS agent" but said it was "not aware of all the details surrounding the incident." The campaign directed all further questions to local law enforcement.
"Right smack in the middle of my punchline did they do that," Trump said of the protesters during the rally. "I wanted to give the rest but I couldn't."
Photographer in video works for TIME. He was a credentialed member of the media, thrown to the ground while trying to exit the press pen— Gabby Morrongiello (@gabriellahope_) February 29, 2016
The bombastic billionaire also tried to quell the chaos by telling the crowded gymnasium that "all lives matter."
"Are we having a good time?" he asked the audience.
Trump has another rally Monday evening in Valdosta, Ga.