Beverly Hills Courier reporter Samuel Braslow wrote that he was assaulted by law enforcement officers on June 24, 2022, while covering demonstrations in Los Angeles, California, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the landmark reproductive rights case Roe v. Wade.
Braslow chronicled the demonstrations in a Twitter thread and wrote that the crowds eventually made their way to City Hall, where Los Angeles Police Department officers wearing riot gear told protesters to leave the area. According to Braslow, he never heard the officers announce an order to disperse.
Braslow was filming the crowd when LAPD officers shoved him toward another group of officers.
“Police just pushed me and another reporter into other police officers resulting in the other reporter’s detention or arrest. I haven’t seen officers this aggressive in a long time,” Braslow wrote on Twitter.
Another journalist documenting the protest posted a video on Twitter of Braslow’s assault.
Braslow and the LAPD did not return emailed requests for comment as of publication.
Braslow was among several journalists who reported being assaulted or detained by LAPD officers while covering the protests. The Los Angeles Times reported that police officers repeatedly ignored a law signed in October 2021 that protected journalists from interference by law enforcement and expanded the rights of journalists covering protests during the civil protests.
“According to Times reporters, witnesses' videos and interviews with other media members on the ground, journalists were pushed, struck with batons, forced out of areas where they had a right to observe police activity and blocked from entering other areas where police and protesters were clashing and arrests were being made,” the Times reported.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the Times that the department would be investigating the complaints made by members of the press.
Find press freedom violations documented by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker at reproductive rights demonstrations across the U.S. here.