Teargassed, beaten up, arrested: what freedom of the press looks like in the US right now
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of MSN News/The Guardian
Posted: June 15th, 2020
Covering protests in Minneapolis on Saturday, photojournalist Ed Ou could feel his hands and face were wet. For a long time, he didnt know if it was teargas, pepper spray, or blood in the end, it turned out to be a combination of all three. He has documented civil unrest in the Middle East, Ukraine and Iraq, where he learned a few things. So when the curfew hit and police fired teargas into the crowd of protesters, Ou stood steady, out of the way, documenting. And then the unexpected happened. They literally started throwing concussive grenades in our direction, in the middle of the journalists, he says. What ensued was a prolonged attack that involved being hit at with batons, being teargassed, dodging concussive grenades and begging for help. As of 9pm Thursday, the US press freedom tracker has received 192 reports of journalists being attacked by police forces while covering the protests across the US. Among them, some have sustained serious injuries. Linda Tirado, a photojournalist, was hit in the face with a tracer round, resulting in loss of sight in one eye. The Chicago Tribunes Ryan Fairclough was left with stitches after being shot through the window of his moving car. In Detroit, Nicole Hester was hit by pellets fired by Detroit police, leaving welts on her body. Others have been beaten up, arrested, their equipment damaged and they have been threatened for taking photos and filming on public streets. These are not one-off incidents: this is a picture of widespread attacks on the profession.