U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Independent journalist arrested at Wall Street protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
February 29, 2024
New York, New York

Arrest/Criminal Charge

Arresting Authority
New York City Police Department
Detention Date
Unnecessary use of force?


Was the journalist targeted?

Independent journalist Ashoka Jegroo was arrested while reporting on a pro-Palestinian demonstration in New York City on Feb. 29, 2024. He was charged with disorderly conduct and walking in a roadway.

February 29, 2024

Independent journalist Ashoka Jegroo was shoved to the ground and arrested by police officers while documenting a pro-Palestinian protest in New York City on Feb. 29, 2024.

Jegroo told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that demonstrators initially gathered at Union Square in Manhattan before taking the subway downtown en masse to the Financial District to attempt to disrupt Gov. Kathy Hochul’s planned remarks at a Wall Street restaurant. An organizer with the protest group Within Our Lifetime told The New York Times that they targeted Hochul over statements she made that month about the Israel-Gaza war.

Police closed down the block around the restaurant, Jegroo said, and protesters tried to march around the block before ultimately making their way up to the intersection of Broadway and Vesey Street. As he crossed the street and neared the sidewalk, Jegroo said a bicycle officer suddenly grabbed him and pulled him into the street.

“When they grabbed me there were people and other journalists yelling, ‘He’s press! He’s press!’” he told the Tracker. “Even though I wasn’t resisting at all, they pulled both of my arms behind my back aggressively and almost pushed me face-first onto the ground where they'd thrown their bikes.”

Jegroo said that he was able to position himself so he landed on the bicycles on his knees, which caused a gash across his shin. Three or four other people at the demonstration were also arrested, at least two of whom were also injured.

Upon arriving at One Police Plaza, Jegroo said he was the last of the arrestees to be processed because of confusion over who his arresting officer was. He was released later that night and charged with disorderly conduct and walking in a roadway when a sidewalk was available. It was his second arrest in recent months while documenting a pro-Palestinian protest in New York City.

The New York Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Gideon Oliver, an attorney representing Jegroo, told the Tracker that a judge dismissed the walking on the roadway charge during a preliminary hearing on March 20. For the disorderly conduct charge, Jegroo accepted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, under which proceedings are put on hold for six months. After that, the charge is dismissed if there have been no further arrests.

“Obviously I have to be a little bit more cautious now: I can’t take as many risks,” Jegroo told the Tracker. “I can’t get as close to the action as I’d like to, but I’m not going to stop. I’m still going to go out there. That’s the only ‘chill’ there will be on my reporting.”

When reached via email, a press officer for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said they could not provide further information because the case was sealed, but noted that accepting an ACD is one of the reasons a case may be sealed.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].