U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Photojournalist shoved by police twice while documenting NYC protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
March 28, 2024
New York, New York


Was the journalist targeted?

A New York Police Department officer yells at Status Coup photojournalist Jon Farina moments before grabbing and shoving the journalist backward during a protest on March 28, 2024. The same officer grabbed Farina a second time that day, bruising his arm.

March 28, 2024

Status Coup photojournalist Jon Farina was shoved multiple times by a police officer while documenting a pro-Palestinian protest in New York City on March 28, 2024.

Farina told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that he was reporting live on the demonstration held outside Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, where Democrats were holding a reelection campaign fundraiser for President Joe Biden.

Demonstrators were marching in the street and blocking traffic, Farina said, when police began making arrests, targeting one of the organizers.

“I’m in the street documenting, my credentials are out and I’m obviously filming,” Farina told the Tracker. “A cop grabs me by my jacket and shoves me back. I tell him that I’m press and that I can be here to document. And he just kept screaming in my face, ‘Get on the sidewalk!’”

As the march continued, Farina said he looked for the officer in order to obtain his name and badge number. Once he saw him, the photojournalist said he walked into a crosswalk that the officer was nearing and filmed his badge.

“He grabbed me again by my shirt, by my jacket, and lifted me up off the street and pushed me all the way back onto the sidewalk,” Farina said. “He bruised up my arm from that.”

In Farina’s footage of the second encounter, the officer can be heard threatening the photojournalist with arrest the next time he steps foot in the street.

Farina told the Tracker that the incident was symptomatic of a police crackdown on protests and the press that covers them.

“This is just getting worse. NYPD is getting worse. Attacks on journalists are getting worse,” he said. “It’s the same strategy to eliminate the witness so that there’s no documentation, no proof of crimes being committed.”

At a protest a few days later, Farina said he approached a police captain to identify himself as a journalist and “set some ground rules” for covering the protest, telling the officer that he had been assaulted a few days prior.

“He kind of just said, ‘Oh, when things are getting crazy and chaotic, we don’t know who’s who, and we can’t distinguish who’s press and who’s not,’” Farina recounted. “I said, ‘Well that’s why we have our credentials out. Once you see these and our cameras, you should know we’re there documenting and just leave us alone.’”

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

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