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The family members, all white, began yelling and charged at black WSPA-TV reporter Charmayne Brown while she was standing in the street near the family's home in Union, said news director Alex Bongiorno.
Brown was punched in the head, and black cameraman Ti Barnes was also struck as he tried to pull family members off Brown, Bongiorno said. A video of the attack shows Brown, who wasn't seriously injured, defending herself.
"I think she's more affected by the verbal abuse than the physical abuse. She's really shaken up," Bongiorno said.
The fight was taped by a white crew from a second television station. They were not attacked.
Tousha Smith, 31, Billie Joe Taylor, 31, and Trina Vinson, 48, were being held at a Union jail Tuesday evening on assault and battery charges, authorities said. South Carolina has no law allowing a hate crime charge.