Photojournalist attacked, has $1,000 of gear stolen while covering Wi Spa protests in L.A.

July 17, 2021
Photographer and journalist Eric Levai said he was surrounded and had around $1,000 of equipment taken from him after he photographed individuals at the Wi Spa, in Los Angeles, California.The spa, located in L.A.’s Koreatown, became a flashpoint for anti-transgender demonstrators as the result of a viral video which police are now treating as a hoax, Slate reported.Levai, who said he doesn’t wear press identification as he believes it attracts harassment, said it was around noon and he was covering …

Photojournalist charged with grand larceny following filing assault complaint against NYPD officer

July 6, 2021
Independent photojournalist Gabe Quinones said he was arrested on charges of grand larceny by the New York City Police Department on July 6, 2021.The department alleges that Quinones attempted to steal an NYPD officer’s baton on June 5, the photojournalist told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. On that evening, Quinones was covering demonstrations in Washington Square Park, which had been the site of both protests and street parties in the weeks preceding. Gothamist reported that for several months the NYPD …

Independent videographer arrested while documenting L.A. homeless camp cleanup

July 1, 2021
Independent videographer Sean Beckner-Carmitchel was arrested while filming a homeless camp cleanup operation in the Harbor City neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, on July 1, 2021.Beckner-Carmitchel told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker he has been documenting such cleanup operations, which aim to remove trash and encourage unhoused populations to seek out shelters, for four months as the city has responded aggressively to a rise in homelessness in the county.Upon arriving at the site alongside two activists, a worker with L.A.

Videographer hit with pepper ball while covering demonstration against LASD

June 12, 2021
Videographer Vishal Singh said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officers hit him in the leg with a pepper ball while he was covering a protest against the department on June 12, 2021.According to CBS Los Angeles, the sheriff’s department had denied a permit to a group planning a protest to demand that Sheriff Alex Villanueva step down. Despite the ban, demonstrators went ahead with a march, “highlighting the many killings of LASD against the Black and Brown community — such …

Independent journalist assaulted while covering Portland protest

May 28, 2021
Andy Ngo, who identifies as an independent journalist and photographer and is an editor-at-large for the conservative news site The Post Millennial, told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker he was assaulted while observing a protest in Portland, Oregon, on May 28, 2021.Ngo is an out-spoken critic of antifa and has covered antifa demonstrations and protests since 2016, primarily publishing the videos taken on his GoPro to Twitter and YouTube. Ngo told the Tracker he does not wear press identification or …

Videographer hit with crowd-control munitions while covering viral TikTok gathering

May 22, 2021
Police hit independent videographer Sean Beckner-Carmitchel with crowd-control munitions while he was covering an event that went viral on social media and gathered large crowds in Huntington Beach, California, on May 22, 2021.According to NBC News, the event, promoted as "Adrian's Kickback," began with a TikTok post from user adrian.lopez517 that invited people to "pop out n celebrate my bday." NBC reported that at least 2,500 people responded the night of May 22, gathering in streets and sidewalks in Huntington …

Photojournalist stopped, strip searched while crossing back into U.S.

April 30, 2021
Photojournalist Ash Ponders, whose work has appeared in The Intercept, The New York Times and other publications, was stopped for secondary screening and searched at the U.S. border after reporting on a protest in Nogales, Mexico, on April 30, 2021.Ponders told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that they were strip searched by an admitting officer from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Arizona at the Morley Gate in Nogales on the Arizona/Mexico border. Ponders’ phone was taken away, and …
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