U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Police shove Wall Street Journal reporter during post-election protest in New York

Incident Details

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

Assault

Was the journalist targeted?
Unknown
REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY

New York Police Department officers use bicycles as a mobile barricade during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Manhattan on Nov. 5, 2020. At least two journalists were shoved, one of whom was knocked to the ground.

— REUTERS/ANDREW KELLY
November 5, 2020

Wall Street Journal reporter Katie Honan was pushed by New York City police who used bicycles as moving barricades to corral journalists as she covered a Nov. 5, 2020, march in Manhattan, according to video and 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.

Honan covered the demonstration and said in a Twitter post that New York Police Department officers used bicycles to push her and other reporters back, even though they had department-issued credentials.

In a video accompanying Honan’s tweet, police officers wearing full protective gear can be seen repeatedly lifting bicycles in the air as they advanced toward protesters while shouting “Move back!” almost in unison.

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.

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]