Land Of The Free: A record breaking number of journalists arrested/attacked in the U.S. in 2020.

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Monday, December 28, 2020. New York City – On Monday, December 14, 2020, Freedom of the Press Foundation released a report on the unprecedented number of journalists arrested and attacked in the United States of America in 2020.

NYPD officers have been harassing, arresting and attacking journalists for a long time.

I have been covering demonstration for many years. I covered the Occupy Wall Street Movement. What NYPD officers did to journalists in 2020 is nothing new.

On Friday, May 29, 2020, I covered the rally in support of George Floyd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York City. There were hundreds of people.

NYPD officers pepper sprayed protestors, Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, a National Lawyers Guild Observer and me. Thanks to the protestors that helped me. They put milk and water in my eyes. It was so painful. Protestors also gave me clean masks and helped me to take transportation to my home. I could not continue covering the rally.

Below you can watch a short video. Click the link to see some pictures: https://www.javiersoriano.com/2020/05/29/rally-to-demand-justice-for-george-floyd-in-nyc/

NYPD officers arresting and pepper spraying peaceful protestors, a National Lawyers Guild Observer and me (a journalist). Thanks to the protestors that helped me after an NYPD officer pepper sprayed me.

On Saturday, May 30, 2020, I covered a rally and march in Flatbush, Brooklyn. There were hundreds of people. It was the third day of protests in New York City to demand justice for George Floyd. There were rallies and marches in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx and Queens.

NYPD officers shoved me. NYPD officers also shoved a Black man. The Black man is not a protestor. He just wanted to get to his home. NYPD officers were not wearing masks. Do they know about COVID-19?

Watch the video below and click the link to see some pictures: https://www.javiersoriano.com/2020/05/30/protest-to-demand-justice-for-george-floyd/

NYPD officers shoving a resident in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Officers were NOT wearing a mask. Do they know about COVID-19?

Freedom of the Press Foundation says, “Based on the comprehensive data compiled by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a project of Freedom of the Press Foundation and Committee to Protect Journalists, our new report shows that there have been at least 117 verified cases of a journalist being arrested or detained on the job in the United States in 2020. The Tracker is also still investigating more than a dozen additional reports of arrests or detentions.

The numbers are staggering. Arrests of journalists skyrocketed by more than 1200% in comparison to 2019. In just one week, from May 29 – June 4, more reporters were arrested in the U.S. than in the previous three years combined. Arrests occurred in more than two dozen cities across the country. And more than 36% of the arrests were accompanied by an assault: journalists were beaten, hit with rubber bullets or other projectiles or covered in chemical agents, like tear gas or pepper spray.

The vast majority of these arrests occurred while journalists were documenting the historic, nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd and in support of Black Lives Matter.”

“This report shows an unprecedented press freedom crisis engulfing the United States,” said Freedom of the Press Foundation Executive Director Trevor Timm. “Journalists should not have to worry about being arrested for doing their job, yet across the country police have disregarded their rights on a staggering scale. Despite scores of illegal arrests and assaults on journalists doing their jobs, we know of no police officer who has been criminally charged for these shocking violations of constitutional rights. We hope this report will spur local, state and federal officials to act.”

You can find the full report — including more statistics, charts and graphs and some of the harrowing personal stories from the journalists themselves here: https://pressfreedomtracker.us/

Friday, May 29, 2020. Brooklyn, New York City - Rally at Barclays Center to demand justice for George Floyd. Photo by Javier Soriano/www.JavierSoriano.com
Friday, May 29, 2020. Brooklyn, New York City – Rally at Barclays Center to demand justice for George Floyd. Photo by Javier Soriano/www.JavierSoriano.com

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