U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Producer Jack Keller arrested at Trump inauguration protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
January 20, 2017

Arrest/Criminal Charge

Arresting Authority
Metropolitan Police Department
  • Rioting
    • Jan. 21, 2017: Charges pending
    • Jan. 30, 2017: Charges dropped
Detention Date
Release Date
Unnecessary use of force?
Status of Seized Equipment
Returned in part
Search Warrant Obtained

A demonstrator smashes a Starbucks window using a trash can at 12th and I streets in Washington, D.C., on Friday, during a march that ended with a partial encirclement and mass arrest. 

January 20, 2017

Jack Keller, producer of the web documentary series Story of America, was arrested on Jan. 20, 2017, while covering protests on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration. Annabel Park, the co-director of the web series, confirmed that Keller was arrested and detained for 36 hours while covering the protest. He was returned his video camera after being released, but both the video and his cellphone remained in police custody.

He was charged with the highest level of offense under Washington D.C.’s law against rioting, which applies when there are injuries as a result of the activity or property damage in excess of $5,000, which can be punished by a maximum of 10 years in jail and fines of up to $25,000.

On Jan. 30, the charges against Keller were dropped.

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