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Journalists Around The Country Have Been Injured And Arrested By Police While Covering Protests

One CNN correspondent was arrested on live television while a photographer has been permanently blinded by a rubber bullet.

Posted on May 31, 2020, at 4:09 p.m. ET

Chandan Khanna / Getty Images

A journalist is seen bleeding after police started firing tear gas and rubber bullets in Minneapolis on Saturday.

As protests against police brutality continue around the country, more than a dozen journalists have been injured and arrested by police officers while working.

Protests broke out in Minneapolis, then spread around the country, after George Floyd died Monday when a police officer used a knee chokehold on him. Floyd's pleas for his life, saying “I can’t breathe,” in an event that was captured on video echoed the killing of Eric Garner and brought renewed attention to the violence people of color face from police.

Since then, journalists have been documenting the crowds of thousands who have gathered in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Seattle.

“Targeted attacks on journalists, media crews, and news organizations covering the demonstrations show a complete disregard for their critical role in documenting issues of public interest and are an unacceptable attempt to intimidate them,” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna of the Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement condemning police actions. “Authorities in cities across the U.S. need to instruct police not to target journalists and ensure they can report safely on the protests without fear of injury or retaliation.”

Below are some of the injuries and arrests that have been captured through videos and images.

Minneapolis

Journalists from several news organizations have reported on social media that police have either arrested, harassed, or fired upon them with less-than-lethal force while covering ongoing protests.

Minnesota police arrest CNN reporter and camera crew as they report from protests in Minneapolis https://t.co/oZdqBti776

On Friday, CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested live on camera, despite identifying themselves as journalists and offering to move. They were released from police custody a few hours later.

LA Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske posted a video of herself describing an encounter with Minnesota State Patrol officers during which she said a group of reporters identified themselves as press. The officers fired tear gas at the journalists “point-blank” without responding to the reporters’ pleas to tell them where they should go, she said.

Minnesota State Patrol just fired tear gas at reporters and photographers at point blank range.

Hennessy-Fiske said she was hit in the leg with a rubber bullet and posted a photo of her injury on Twitter:

That’s the PG version of my leg courtesy of @MnDPS_MSP still going to report tonight and tomorrow

A photographer and activist was also struck in the left eye with what she believed was a rubber bullet and said she has been permanently blinded in that eye:

Hey folks, took a tracer found to the face (I think, given my backpack) and am headed into surgery to see if we can save my left eye Am wisely not gonna be on Twitter while I’m on morphine Stay safe folks

Several other reporters have also said they have been pepper-sprayed or arrested:

I was pepper-sprayed then arrested last night by Minneapolis PD even after identifying myself as a reporter MULTIPLE times: Cop 1: *checks press badge as I’m on the ground* Cop 2: “Roll on your side, Mr. journalist.” Cop 3: *loads me in the car, sees my press badge and shrugs*

"I'M NOT FIGHTING": Tom Aviles, an award-winning photographer with CBS Minnesota, was arrested and struck by a rubber bullet while covering protests in Minneapolis. https://t.co/uIJsKYOboi

MSNBC reporters were just almost hit with some sort of explosive device by law enforcement officers in Minneapolis

Minneapolis police march on a parking lot where VICE reporter @MichaelAdams317 is sheltering. He is wears a press badge. “I’m Press! Press! Press!” Cop shouts “I DON’T CARE” and throws him to the ground. Another cop pepper sprays him directly in the face.

On Sunday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz apologized for the second time about the ongoing arrests.

“It is unacceptable,” he said, adding he recognized the role journalists have to play in the protests. “I take full responsibility for that and won't equivocate no matter how difficult the environment is.”

Denver

NEW: Photographer Hyoung Chang was covering a George Floyd protest Thursday night in downtown Denver when police began firing cannisters of tear gas and balls loaded with pepper at the crowds. An officer fired two pepper balls directly at him, Chang said. https://t.co/PcWDZnQeBW

In Denver, staff photographer Hyoung Chang for the Denver Post said police fired canisters of tear gas at the crowd and also fired pepper balls directly at him.

Louisville, Kentucky

In Louisville, Kentucky, police were captured on camera shooting what appear to be pepper balls at a local TV camera crew.

"I was wearing a vest with 'Press' in reflective lettering, and I was shot several times in the chest, legs, and my right arm," journalist James Dobson wrote on Saturday.

A WAVE 3 News reporter was also struck while on air.

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, police shot rubber bullets at a radio journalist and shattered the rear window of another’s car:

LAPD just shot me and protestors gathered at Beverly & Fairfax with rubber bullets. I was holding my press badge above my head.

The cops just shot out by back window. And it was completely unnecessary. This after tear gas, being ribbed by a bully stick and other atrocities. And I had my press credentials visible. Coverage of today to follow on @StatusCoup. #laprotest #GeorgeFloyd

New York

In New York, two journalists — one reporter for the Huffington Post and one CNN commentator — were arrested.

We are extremely alarmed that our reporter Chris Mathias (@letsgomathias) has apparently been taken into NYPD custody while doing his job as a journalist. We demand that he be released immediately. CC: @NYPDnews @NYCMayor @NewYorkStateAG

So here’s what happened today. The NYPD arrested me at 96th Street and West Side Highway while I was taking photos and video to post to Twitter. I told the police I was with the Press, they walked by me and then turned around and arrested me.


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