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Security at Trump Rally Chokes, Slams Photojournalist to Ground

by Ali Vitali and Jacob Rascon /

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A Donald Trump rally in Virginia on Monday was punctuated by protests and a shockingly violent incident between security and a journalist.

After an interruption by several attendees associated with Black Lives Matter, a fight between a photographer and Secret Service agent broke out around the press area at the event in Radrod, Va.

While it's not completely clear what happened leading up to the recording, videos from the scene show the photographer, TIME's Christopher Morris, stepping outside the pen and getting into an altercation with a service agent.

After an exchange of words, the agent goes for Morris' throat with two hands and slams him to the ground.

From the ground, Morris then kicked at the agent, and after getting up also placed his hands on the agent’s throat, one video shows.

"I just, I stepped 18 inches out of the pen then they grabbed me by the neck and started choking me and slammed me to the ground," Morris told NBC News after he was released from a short detention by the Secret Service. "Whatever. I never punched him, I never touched him. At the very end I tried to show... the press lead what he did to me and I said, 'He choked me,' and I put my hand on him. And that's when I was arrested."

The Trump campaign returned NBC News' request for comment by noting that the altercation happened but stating, “we are not aware of all details surrounding the incident and all future inquiries should be directed to local law enforcement.”

The Secret Service responded similarly.

"The Secret Service is aware of an incident involving an employee of the Secret Service that occurred earlier today in Radford, Virginia. 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 agency said in a statement. "The Secret Service will provide further details as warranted once additional facts surrounding the situation are known."

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