Journalists have been targeted in a number of cities as they’ve tried to cover protests
Protests raged over the weekend, sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who was suffocated and died in police custody in Minneapolis. Stories from a number of major cities detail police actions ranging from questionable to downright horrifying, as authorities work to quell the protests across the nation. And from all over the country, reports are emerging of journalists who are arrested, shot at, injured, or otherwise targeted by police as they try to do their jobs and cover the protests.
It was days ago that a report made news of the CNN reporter who was arrested on live TV, in front of his own still-rolling camera, in Minneapolis. He said white journalists nearby were allowed to continue doing their jobs.
But since his story went viral, there have been many more. LA Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske posted a video of herself to Twitter where she described how the Minnesota State Patrol fired tear gas at her and other journalists “point blank” — after they identified themselves as press and asked where they should go.
She also shared photos showing the bruises on her legs after she said she was hit with rubber bullets.
Linda Tirado, a Minnesota photographer, was struck in the eye with a rubber bullet, and is now awaiting surgery to see if her eye can be saved.
There have been many other journalists in Minneapolis who have shared their stories of being targeted for arrest or brutalized by police, even after identifying themselves as reporters, not protesters.
In one particularly chilling video, a team of MSNBC journalists, including their camera crew, try to give an on-air report while running from police, peppering their broadcast with pleas of “Don’t shoot!” They’re eventually almost hit with an explosive device that’s lobbed at them by the officers who are following them.
But these reports aren’t just coming from Minneapolis. Journalists in Denver, Louisville, Los Angeles, New York, and other major cities where protests have been taking place have shared similar stories. In Louisville, a video went viral showing a female reporter — again, accompanied by a camera crew — begging police to stop as they shoot at her from close range.
What these journalists are saying about their experiences is true. This is the logical next step in a culture that has painted “the media” to be the enemy, that has rallied its base against “fake news” — which none of these reporters produce. They are on the ground, making sure we all know what’s happening during a vital moment in history, and this is what they’re facing for it.
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