U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Journalist detained in kettle while documenting reproductive rights protests in LA

Incident Details


In his Twitter livestream, El American correspondent Anthony Cabassa details his detainment while covering a reproductive rights demonstration in Los Angeles on June 24, 2022.

June 24, 2022

Anthony Cabassa, a field correspondent for the conservative bilingual outlet El American, was detained in a kettle alongside at least one other journalist while documenting reproductive rights protests in Los Angeles, California, on June 24, 2022.

Protests broke out across the country following the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial ruling overturning Roe v. Wade that morning, which established that the right to abortion is guaranteed under the right to privacy.

The first protests in LA began outside a federal courthouse around noon, the Los Angeles Times reported, and continued into the night. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker has documented the assaults of at least eight journalists in the city that night.

In a Twitter post at 9:45 p.m., Cabassa wrote that police had detained him alongside protesters and other journalists using a technique known as kettling, in which police box in a crowd before typically conducting mass arrests.

“When we approach the police line, we are told that we are not allowed to leave. We showed them our media credentials,” Cabassa said in a video posted with the tweet. “I guess we’re being detained. I believe we are awaiting further instructions on what’s to happen, but as of now we cannot leave, we cannot leave at all.”

Cabassa did not respond to a request for additional comment.

Independent videographer Sean Beckner-Carmitchel, confirmed to the Tracker that he was detained in the kettle alongside Cabassa that night, and that they were released at 9:30 p.m. The Tracker has documented Beckner-Carmitchel’s detainment here.

At around 10:30 p.m., Cabassa posted on Twitter that he had been released without being charged.

The Los Angeles Police Department did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

Find press freedom violations documented by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker at reproductive rights demonstrations across the U.S. here.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include details from independent videographer Sean Beckner-Carmitchel.

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