Just a day after a CNN reporter was arrested live on air while reporting on the protests in Minneapolis, several journalists were teargassed by the police on Saturday.
Protests have been raging for five days in a row, following the death of George Floyd in police custody on Monday.
A nighttime curfew was imposed on Friday by the authorities and the state national guard was deployed to enforce the curfew.
Several journalists were arrested and reported injuries.
Award-winning photojournalist Tom Aviles, with WCCO, a local CBS station, was hit by a rubber bullet.
The station even published a video of the arrest, where Aviles is seen introducing himself as a journalist, but the police arrested him.
WCCO’s article on the arrest said veteran producer Joan Gilbertson was also with Aviles, and that a patrolman told her: “You’ve been warned, or the same thing will happen to you. You’re next,” reported The Guardian.
Molly Hennessy-Fiske, a Los Angeles Times journalist reporting outside the fifth police precinct in Minneapolis, said that the police didn’t respond to journalists identifying themselves. Instead they ‘fired teargas canisters at us at point-blank range.’
Birmingham reporters posted a video on Twitter showing how journalists were attacked live on camera.
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Michael Anthony Adams, correspondent and producer with VICE News tweeted about how police raided the gas station journalists were sheltering at.
“After shouting press multiple times and raising my press card in the air, I was thrown to the ground. Then another cop came up and pepper sprayed me in the face while I was being held down,” he tweeted.
Several journalists also said that they were looted during the protests.
In Los Angeles, two reporters posted pictures of the rubber bullets with which they were hit by the police.
HuffPost journalist Chris Mathias, who was live-tweeting from the demonstrations, was taken into NYPD custody.
HuffPost demanded his immediate release saying he was arrested “while doing his job as a journalist.”
Keith Boykin, a CNN commentator, said he was arrested in Manhattan while taking photos and video to post on Twitter. According to Boykin he informed the police he was with the press but they arrested him anyway.
“The police locked me in tight zip ties that bruised my wrists. They held me in a van for an hour. Then a hot police bus for an hour. Then they took me to 1 Police Plaza and held me in a jail cell with about 35 others with no social distancing and many of the others unmasked.” he tweeted.
He was charged with ‘walking on the highway,’ ‘disorderly conduct’ and ‘blocking vehicular traffic.’
The US president, like several times before, called the media the ‘enemy of the people.’
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