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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Reporter Assaulted During Coverage of Cory Bigsby Murder Case Leads to Legal Battle

Written by: Sam Orlando

HAMPTON, VIRGNIA – In a disturbing incident that underscores the increasing challenges faced by journalists, Rhoda Young, a dedicated reporter, became the victim of assault and battery while covering the high-profile murder trial of Cory Bigsby. The Law Firm of Amina Matheny-Willrad, PLLC, has taken a firm stance in advocating for Young, with a civil lawsuit filed against the assailant, Brie Kareem, related to Codi Bigsby’s mother.

The confrontation occurred on March 7, 2024, outside the Hampton Circuit Court, marking a severe infringement on journalistic freedoms and raising concerns over the safety of reporters in the line of duty. Young, known for her live coverage and investigative reporting, was assaulted by Kareem in an unprovoked attack, an event captured on camera that has since sent ripples through the community and beyond. Freedom of the press concerns are amplified by the fact that an agent of the Commonwealth's Attorney was present for the assault, and did nothing to stop it.

Legal Proceedings Underway

Brie Kareem, now facing charges of assault and battery, was released on summons according to the General District Court Online Case Information System. The incident not only resulted in physical harm to Young but also highlighted the emotional and professional toll such attacks can have on individuals exercising their constitutional rights to free speech and press.

In response, Amina Matheny-Willard, Esq., representing Young, has filed a comprehensive legal complaint in the Circuit Court for the City of Hampton, detailing the nature of the assault, the circumstances leading up to the altercation, and the direct impact on Young. The legal document meticulously outlines the events of that day, supported by video evidence and witness accounts, emphasizing the intentional and harmful conduct of Kareem.

Seeking Justice and Recourse

The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for the physical and emotional distress suffered by Young, alongside punitive damages to address the malicious nature of the assault. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant," states the press release from Matheny-Willard's law firm, signaling a determined pursuit of transparency and accountability in the wake of this violation.

This case not only represents a personal fight for Young but also a broader battle for the rights and safety of journalists everywhere. As the legal proceedings unfold, the eyes of the public and the media community remain fixed on Hampton, awaiting a resolution that many hope will send a strong message against the assault on press freedom.

A Call for Reflection and Action

The assault on Rhoda Young during her coverage of the Cory Bigsby murder trial serves as a stark reminder of the risks journalists face and the critical need for protections against such unwarranted attacks. As the case against Brie Kareem progresses, it presents an opportunity for reflection on the value of the free press and the collective responsibility to safeguard those who deliver the news to the public.

With a jury trial demanded and a clear plea for justice, Young's ordeal transcends her individual experience, symbolizing a stand against the suppression and intimidation of the press. As developments continue, the outcome of this legal battle will undoubtedly resonate far beyond the confines of Hampton, echoing in the halls of journalism and the courts of law across the nation.

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