U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Podcaster arrested, assaulted at NYC protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
February 10, 2024
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?

Equipment Damage

Equipment Broken

Journalist Reed Dunlea was arrested while recording for his podcast, Scene Report, at a pro-Palestinian protest in New York City on Feb. 10, 2024. Officers threw him to the ground, breaking his recording equipment, and charged him with resisting arrest.

March 4, 2024 - Update

Charge dropped against podcaster following arrest at NYC protest

The resisting arrest charge against podcast journalist Reed Dunlea has been dropped, the Kings County district attorney’s office confirmed to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker on March 4, 2024.

When reached by phone, Oren Yaniv, the director of communications for the Kings County DA, confirmed that the DA’s office had declined to prosecute the case due to insufficient evidence and that the charges were dismissed.

Dunlea was thrown to the ground and arrested while reporting on a pro-Palestinian protest in New York City on Feb. 10. Police officers held him in custody for 10 hours before releasing him with a charge of resisting arrest.

The journalist was scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on March 1, but Dunlea told the Tracker that his case did not come up on the docket and no new hearing date was set.

February 10, 2024

Journalist Reed Dunlea was tackled and arrested while reporting on a pro-Palestinian protest in New York City on Feb. 10, 2024. Police officers threw Dunlea to the ground, damaging his equipment, and charged him with resisting arrest.

“It was a 1 p.m. protest. I arrived by 1:30 p.m. and I was in a police van by 2:15 p.m.,” he told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

Dunlea said that he was at the protest outside the Brooklyn Museum, which had been planned by the Palestinian-led community organization Within Our Lifetime, to record audio for his podcast, Scene Report. Shortly after arriving, Dunlea saw a small group of protesters in a shouting match with a white-shirted supervisory police officer.

When he approached to record the interaction, Dunlea said the officer screamed at him to get on the sidewalk. “I showed him my press pass in that moment and he was still bugging out, so I stepped away from that pretty quickly,” Dunlea told the Tracker.

As New York Police Department officers conducted multiple rounds of arrests — going into the crowd, extracting individuals and handcuffing them — Dunlea said he tried to stay on the edge of the police line.

“And then I was somehow in the middle of it,” Dunlea said. “I don’t know exactly what happened, but all of a sudden I had a group of officers throwing me to the ground.”

In footage captured by bystanders and posted to social media, at least three officers can be seen dragging Dunlea into the middle of the street before pinning him on his stomach. Dunlea told the Tracker he repeatedly identified himself as a journalist and told the officers he was wearing a city-issued press credential.

Both Dunlea’s Zoom H6 recorder and Apple headphones were damaged in the course of the arrest, and he said he hadn’t checked whether his microphone was broken as well. He also noted that the audio he was recording during the arrest is missing, but he is unsure whether it was deleted or if it failed to save when the recorder was damaged.

Dunlea was transferred to One Police Plaza alongside the other individuals detained at the protest and was held until shortly after midnight, when he was released on a charge of resisting arrest.

“In the last month, NYPD has started to crack down in serious ways on any Palestine protests, because the NYPD was humiliated by the protests on January 8,” Dunlea said, referring to the successful blockading of the Holland Tunnel and multiple bridges into Manhattan by pro-Palestinian protesters. “I’m seeing the mayor of New York City and the NYPD making a decision that they no longer accept protests happening, so they are choosing to violently suppress them.”

The New York Civil Liberties Union criticized the police response to the protest in a statement posted to social media. “Flooding peaceful protests with police,” it noted, “seems designed to create tension and provoke arrests.”

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

Dunlea was ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing on March 1.

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