The mainstream media networks CNN and NBC paid $35,000 to a Black Lives Matter activist for his footage of the fatal shooting of a Trump supporter during the Capitol protests on January 6th, as reported by the Daily Caller.
John Sullivan, a 26-year-old from Utah, is currently facing criminal charges for his role in the mostly peaceful protests at the Capitol that day. Sullivan, who has a well-documented history of being actively involved in multiple Black Lives Matter riots last year, was among the protesters who entered the Capitol building during the tabulating of the 2020 electoral college votes.
During the protest, Sullivan captured close-up footage of the moment that Ashli Babbit, a 14-year Air Force veteran from California and a supporter of President Donald Trump, was shot through the neck by a plainclothes police officer at close range, bleeding out and dying in the halls of Congress. Hers was the only death that day confirmed to have been a murder, as opposed to the several others who died that day due to sudden medical situations that had nothing to do with the protests.
Although Sullivan has claimed that he was present purely for the purposes of documenting the event, he has been charged in a federal court with illegally entering the Capitol, civil disorder, and violent or disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Sullivan’s payment by the media companies was disclosed by his legal team, with defense attorney Steven Kiersh saying that his “defendant is legitimately self-employed as a documentarian,” and claiming that “it is oppressive to require that he not be allowed to continue his primary area of employment for an extended period of time.” In addition to the larger payments from CNN and NBC, Sullivan was also paid $2,500 by Australia’s ABC network, and $5,000 from a production company called Left/Right Productions.