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US police target journalists covering the George Floyd protests

  • Published at 12:10 pm June 2nd, 2020
WEB_A protester in Minneapolis, US after getting hit by police rubber bullet_29.05.2020
Rachel Perez is pictured with bruising around her eye and a plaster on her forehead, injuries sustained from rubber bullets during protests, while standing a distance from a burning vehicle at the parking lot of a Target store as demonstrations continue after a white police officer was caught on a bystander's video pressing his knee into the neck of African-American man George Floyd, who later died at a hospital, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, on Thursday, May 28, 2020 Reuters

More than two dozen incidents of journalists experiencing violence while covering demonstrations for George Floyd were reported

Journalists across the United States have been targeted by police while covering the George Floyd protests.

They faced arrest, detention, and violence, including being pepper sprayed and shot by rubber bullets.

Linda Tirado, a photojournalist, was shot in the eye by a rubber bullet while covering an anti-police brutality protest in Minneapolis on Friday night. She said afterwards in a twitter message that she is permanently blind in her left eye as a result of the incident, reports Vox.

The Minneapolis Police Department and Mayor Jacob Frey’s office did not respond to requests for comment about her injury.

Linda was one of more than two dozen incidents of journalists experiencing violence while covering recent demonstrations for George Floyd.

Another reporter Kaitlin Rust and her camera crew were shot pepper balls by a police officer in Louisville on Friday night.

Hours later, Louisville Metro Police apologized to WAVE 3 for the incident.

In Minneapolis, Ali Velshi and his MSNBC camera crew were shot at by police live on the air while covering a peaceful protest.

“There was absolutely no provocation. The police just drove up, split the crowd in two and started firing in both directions,” said the reporter.

Sarah Belle Lin, reporter and photojournalist, was hit in the thigh by a rubber bullet fired by police while covering protests in Oakland, California, on Saturday evening.

“I was hit by the police by in the inner thighs. I am injured. I repeated my First Amendment rights,” said the reporter in a Twitter message.

LA Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske reported that Minnesota State Patrol troopers fired tear gas at reporters and camera crews in Minneapolis on Saturday.

“Minnesota State Patrol just fired tear gas at reporters and photographers at point blank range,” said Molly in a Twitter message.

In Detroit, several Detroit Free Press reporters were pepper sprayed by police on Saturday, including one reporter who held up a press badge while police targeted him.

The incidents received widespread condemnation, adding to the growing sense of injustice in the country.

“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, program director at the nonprofit advocacy group Committee to Protect Journalists, in a statement Saturday. 

“Authorities in cities across the US need to instruct police not to target journalists and ensure they can report safely on the protests without fear of injury or retaliation.”

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