Independent filmmaker arrested while covering anti-ICE protest in New York City

September 19, 2020
Ronald Weaver II, an independent filmmaker, was arrested while covering a protest against immigration policy and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York City on Sept. 19, 2020.The protest, which began in Times Square, was prompted by a whistleblower’s allegation that immigrant women held at a privately run detention center in Georgia were forced to undergo hysterectomies. Weaver, a New York-based filmmaker, told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker the protest was part of a broad protest movement against racial …

Man charged with throwing rocks at WABC studios in Manhattan during broadcast, damaging WPIX equipment

September 9, 2020
New York City police arrested a man on criminal mischief charges for damaging a WPIX-11 crew’s equipment and throwing rocks marked with profanities at the windows of the WABC Eyewitness News studio. Both incidents occurred on Sept. 9, 2020.The criminal charges allege that Jerry Velez, 41, pushed over a light pole that TV station WPIX set up outside Manhattan’s Hudson Yards at about 10 a.m. on Sept. 9, causing it to crash into a set of LED lights and a …

Independent journalist shoved by NYPD officer

July 25, 2020
Independent journalist Janet Burns said she was shoved by a police officer while covering a protest in New York City on July 25, 2020.Burns said she was covering a demonstration that night in Lower Manhattan, at the corner of Delancey and Ludlow streets, for NYC Protest Updates 2020, a Twitter account set up by a group of young journalists after the May killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked nationwide protests. The Twitter account has over 40,000 followers and provides …

Photographer arrested by NYPD while covering pro-police march

July 15, 2020
Photographer Mel D. Cole was documenting police-protester clashes from the Brooklyn Bridge footpath in New York City when officers arrested him, confiscated his equipment and detained him for seven hours on July 15, 2020, according to a federal lawsuit.Cole is one of five news photographers who filed a federal lawsuit on Aug. 5, 2021, “seeking to hold the New York Police Department [NYPD] accountable for its violation of their First Amendment rights.” The suit is being led by the National …

NYPD subpoenas journalist’s phone records in leak investigation

July 14, 2020
The New York City Police Department subpoenaed a journalist’s cellphone records as part of a leak investigation, according to the reporter, who asked that their name not be disclosed, citing fear of harming relationships with sources, and a report by the New York Daily News.On July 14, 2020, the New York-based freelancer who works for the Daily Mail received a letter stating that their phone records had been subpoenaed and used to question a police officer about his alleged contact …

Reporter hit with wooden board at New York’s Occupy City Hall protest

July 12, 2020
A man hit a New York Post reporter with a piece of lumber during a demonstration to cut police funding at New York’s City Hall on July 12, 2020, the Post reported. The man was later arrested and charged with assault, police said.The weeks-long “Occupy City Hall” protests in June drew hundreds of people who pressed elected leaders to slash $1 billion from the New York City Police Department’s annual operating budget of around $6 billion. Dozens of people camped …

Journalist assaulted, camera destroyed while covering pro-law enforcement rally in New York

July 11, 2020
A multimedia journalist for FreedomNews TV, was assaulted by individuals and had her camera smashed while covering a pro-law enforcement “Back the Blue” rally in the Brooklyn borough of New York on July 11, 2020. The rally was a response to continuing Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests sparked by the May 25 police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.The journalist, who publishes under the name Oliya Scootercaster, told the U.S. Press Freedom …
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