U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Police shove 1010 WINS reporter during post-election protest in New York

Incident Details

Date of Incident
November 5, 2020
New York, New York


Was the journalist targeted?
November 5, 2020

Radio journalist Roger Stern was pushed to the ground by New York City police who used bicycles as moving barricades to corral journalists as they covered a Nov. 5, 2020, march in Manhattan according to the journalist’s social media posts.

Protests erupted in New York and other cities on Nov. 3, Election Day in the U.S., and continued for days as results for the presidential election trickled in.

Stern, a reporter for radio station 1010 WINS, covered the “We Choose Freedom” march in which hundreds gathered at the historic Stonewall Inn in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village and marched north and east through Washington Square Park to Union Square.

Demonstrations were held weekly at the Stonewall throughout the summer, but the Nov. 5 march drew a stepped-up police presence because the results of the presidential election were still uncertain. The rallies were intended to call attention to the rights of Black transgender people.

“NYPD knocks me to the ground as they use bicycles to push protesters further into Union Sq Park after getting them off the street,” Stern posted on his Twitter account on Nov. 5. “Not clear why officers continued pushing peaceful protesters after [the] street was clear.”

Video journalist Oliya Fedun tweeted and posted video of NYPD officers using bicycles to shove protesters and others, including Stern. “Crowd was first told to get off the roadway and then to get off the sidewalk as police pushed people further into the park,” Fedun wrote on Twitter.

1010 WINS declined to comment or make Stern available for an interview.

The NYPD didn’t respond to a request for comment. Officers arrested 18 people in the demonstration, Gothamist reported.

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams was at the scene and also was shoved by officers, according to reports. Williams said in a Twitter post that police were trying to aggressively clear the street to make an arrest.

“Officers then appeared to begin setting up for mass arrests— we intervened to try and de-escalate and prevent that,” Williams tweeted. “Most importantly, there seems to be a lack of leadership when the City needs it the most.”

The NYPD said in a Twitter post around 9 p.m. that night that a suspect attacked a police officer at Broadway and Bond Street in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood, a few blocks away from Union Square. The suspect tried to strangle the officer with a chain, police alleged.

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