U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Police block journalist from leaving Columbia building during arrest of protesters

Incident Details

REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

A person waves a Palestinian flag from atop Hamilton Hall at Columbia University. When police retook the building from protesters on April 30, 2024, officers prevented reporter Gwynne Hogan from leaving a campus building to cover arrests.

— REUTERS/David Dee Delgado
April 30, 2024

New York City police officers blocked a reporter for independent newsroom THE CITY, along with other journalists, from leaving a building on Columbia University’s campus during mass arrests of pro-Palestinian protesters on April 30, 2024.

Journalist Gwynne Hogan, who said she was displaying her press credentials, posted on social media platform X shortly before 9:30 p.m. that she and a group of fellow reporters and students were “pushed” into a building adjoining Hamilton Hall — which protesters had occupied and dubbed “Hind’s Hall” — as police descended on campus and began a sweep of the occupied building.

“NYPD had fully cleared the area where students started camping out last night, rows of demonstrators linked arms around the entryway to ‘Hinds Hall’ are the only ones left outside,” Hogan wrote in the post. “I'm with a crowd of students and reporters pushed back into an adjoining building.”

Moments later, Hogan posted video and reported that she was being blocked in by police, adding, “They won't let me out despite showing many of them my NYPD press pass.” In the video, several officers in riot gear can be seen through the doors, barring the exits as other officers in the background lead away protesters.

Shortly after midnight, Hogan posted “Made it out, NYPD and campus safety escorting groups of students out from buildings that were previously locked down.”

In a May 1 article for THE CITY detailing police crackdowns at Columbia and other New York City colleges, Hogan wrote of Columbia that “student journalists and a CITY reporter were forced into adjoining buildings and blocked in for several hours, unable to observe officers entering Hamilton Hall, or the arrests of students who’d linked arms to try and block the entryway to the hall.”

Hogan 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].