Report: At Least 125 Press Freedom Violations Reported Over 3 Days Of Protests
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that more than 125 press freedom violations occurred over three days of US protests following the death of George Floyd last week.
- On Monday, the Committee announced that the press should be “exempt from any curfew restrictions.”
“We are horrified by the continued use of harsh and sometimes violent actions of police against journalists doing their jobs. These are direct violations of press freedom, a fundamental Constitutional value of the United States,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna. “We call on local and state officials to explicitly exempt the news media from curfew regulations so that journalists are able to report freely.”
- The US Press Freedom Tracker, which is a nonpartisan website of which CPJ is a founding partner, is investigating each report made by journalists on the press freedom violations.
- The violations, along with 20 arrests, were “collated from social media accounts, news reports, and direct contact with some of the journalists affected,” reported CPJ.
- Police have “hit dozens more journalists with tear gas, pepper spray, or rubber bullets,” and in several cases did so “even as the journalists displayed their press credentials,” wrote CPJ.
- One Minnesota Public Radio journalist told CPJ that she had a gun pointed to her head by police who did not lower their weapons even after she displayed her press credentials.
- In some cities where protests have turned violent, the local and state authorities have imposed a curfew.
Not all of these curfew orders “have explicitly exempted members of the press, although some officials, including in Minneapolis, have said that media are exempt after the initial announcement,” CPJ reported.