Journalist shoved by Denver police officer

May 30, 2020

A journalist said he was shoved by a police officer while covering protests in Denver, Colorado, on May 30, 2020.

The protests were sparked by a video showing a police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, for 8 minutes and 46 seconds during an arrest on May 25. Floyd was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

David Sachs, who reports for Denverite and Colorado Public Radio, said he was covering protests outside of the Colorado Supreme Court when he was caught between a line of police officers and a crowd of protesters.

He told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that police advanced toward the crowd, yelling “Move! Move! Move!” Sachs, who had his bicycle with him, said he showed the officers his press credentials, shouting the names of the two outlets he works for. He said an officer then shoved him twice in the back, shouting “Move!”

Sachs picked up his bike and ran down a set of stairs leading to the street. “There was already gas or smoke there, but one or two fresh new canisters popped right in front of me,” he said. “I was choking. I couldn’t breathe for a good 20 or 30 seconds.”

Sachs tweeted about the experience once he reached safety.

An emailed request for comment from the Denver Police was not immediately returned.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is documenting several hundred total incidents of journalists assaulted, arrested, struck by crowd control ammunition or tear gas or had their equipment damaged while covering protests across the country related to the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Find all of these cases here.

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

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