Photographer injured after being hit by man during protests in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A photographer who was attacked during the first night of protests in Houston is encouraged by the compassion he has been shown since.

Morgan Roberts of GemLens Photography was attacked during the later portion of Houston's first demonstration 12 days ago in the wake of George Floyd's death.

Out of nowhere, a man hit him in the head with what he thought was a brick or rock. He is a photographer who shoots live events.

"I wasn't there for any other purpose than to document what was happening. All the footage was to see what was happening in Houston," Roberts said.

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On May 29, thousands gathered for a peaceful protest in downtown Houston. Roberts was there when things turned ugly, and was feeding out what he was seeing on Facebook Live.

"Now, they're hitting the Meridien bar," Roberts said during the feed.

He had his still camera in one hand and his cell phone in the other. His video captured people breaking windows with rebar and rocks and spray-painting buildings. A few minutes later, a man came from his side and assaulted him.

"He snuck up on me. It happened fast. He hit me so hard," Roberts said.

His equipment went flying, and he was injured. Roberts reported the incident to the Houston police, but catching the guy was not his motivation to share his story.

In the days that followed, all kinds of people, he said, have checked on him and donated to a crowd funding account to help him pay for repairs for his camera. It has exceeded the goal and the comments have been encouraging.

"I appreciate you being impartial, and I appreciate you documenting this and being respectful," he recited one comment. " And it just said 'thank you, a police officer.'"

He is thankful for the support, and from that experience, he still comes away with something positive.

"There's still compassion in the world, regardless of what's happening. People still care about one another," Roberts said.

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