Journalists are Arrested and Injured by Police in Covering the Protests

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2020 | Firm News

Not since the 1960’s, when the nation was racked by civil rights demonstrations, anti-war protests and urban riots, has the press been so embroiled in police violence. As protests raged in cities across America, more than a dozen journalists were injured or arrested, while trying to cover the story. In some cases, journalists have been swept up in aggressive police efforts to disperse crowds. In other cases, journalists were harassed, injured or arrested, even after identifying themselves as members of the media. This is a blatant violation of First Amendment protections that have traditionally been given to the press. Around the world, journalists are routinely arrested while covering political demonstrations, as authoritative governments attempt to suppress reporting that threatens their legitimacy. In the past, such examples have been very rare in the United States. However, in the last three years since President Trump has taken office, more journalists have been detained by police while covering political demonstrations. In the end, it really makes little difference whether these recent incidents involving journalists are happening by accident, or on purpose. The effect is still the same – the news is impeded and the public’s ability to see and judge the conduct of police and officials is hampered. In an age where social media and the President has undermined public trust in the media, the need for a strong and independent press has never been greater. Journalists who cover protests and who report on how police handle protesters are not enemies of the state, and they should not be treated like that. Our country demands and deserves better.