Witnesses said the men were on the porch at the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque when Ricardo Thomas, 67, began taking photos from across the street. Several pushed him, one threw a punch at him and his camera equipment was smashed.
Thomas was kicked while on the ground and suffered a cut lip. He drove himself to a hospital and said later "there was no reason" for the attack.
"It's a public street," Thomas said. "I am a journalist doing my job, just like all the other journalists doing their jobs."
Jonathan Wolman, editor and publisher of the News, said Thomas was on assignment, making an eyewitness report of an important story.
"It's outrageous that he was roughed up on the scene," Wolman said.
Detroit police Sgt. Scott Konczal said investigators would review a WJBK-TV (Fox 2) videotape of the incident. He said three suspects had left the scene by the time police arrived.
By: A group of men attacked a Detroit News photographer Wednesday evening outside a mosque where the leader had been fatally shot earlier in a shootout with federal agents.