U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Independent journalist pushed, arrested at NYC pro-Palestinian march

Incident Details

Date of Incident
November 11, 2023
New York, New York

Arrest/Criminal Charge

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


Was the journalist targeted?

Independent journalist Ashoka Jegroo was arrested by New York Police Department officers while reporting on a pro-Palestinian march in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2023. The two charges of disorderly conduct against him have since been dropped.

November 11, 2023

Independent journalist Ashoka Jegroo was pushed and arrested by police officers while documenting a pro-Palestinian demonstration in New York City on Nov. 11, 2023.

Jegroo told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that as the crowd began to disperse near Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan, some demonstrators noticed a pole with American and United Nations flags and one climbed up to replace them with the Palestinian flag. Police then surrounded the pole, pushing everyone back, and prepared to arrest him once he climbed down.

After the protester was placed in handcuffs, Jegroo and other press and protesters followed as officers led the protester to a police van. In footage Jegroo posted to social media, an NYPD officer is heard ordering Jegroo to back up and saying that he was pushing the journalist to get him to move.

“I’m at a reasonable distance,” Jegroo replies. Moments later, multiple officers appear to form a line forcing everyone back, and Jegroo is pushed again as officers order the crowd to get on the sidewalk.

Jegroo asks, “Why are you touching me?” Seconds later, he too is arrested.

Jegroo told the Tracker that he was held in a cell at NYPD headquarters at One Police Plaza for two to three hours before being released with two citations for disorderly conduct. Both citations were signed by Inspector Frank DiGiacomo, the commanding officer for the department’s Technical Assistance Response Unit.

“When I finally was released,” Jegroo said, “the cop who was escorting me out of the precinct and to the door outside, he remarked that, like, ‘Wow, the inspector himself filled out your tickets. That usually never happens, you must have done something. What did you do?’”

At an initial hearing on Nov. 29, the judge informed Jegroo that police had not properly filed the tickets so he was free to go. Jegroo said that as far as the court records show, the charges against him never happened, but he doesn’t know whether the department could choose to refile them at a later date.

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