U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

RT America reporter arrested at Trump inauguration protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
January 20, 2017

Arrest/Criminal Charge

Arresting Authority
Metropolitan Police Department
  • Rioting
    • Jan. 20, 2017: Charges pending
    • Jan. 30, 2017: Charges dropped
Unnecessary use of force?
REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

Protesters and journalists scramble as stun grenades are deployed by police during a protest near the inauguration of President Donald Trump in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

— REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
January 20, 2017

Alexander Rubinstein, a reporter with the Russian state-funded broadcaster RT America, was arrested while covering protests on the day of the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump. RT said in a Jan. 20, 2017, report on its website that Rubinstein showed his media credentials to police before he was encircled with a crowd of people who were all arrested.

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 Rubinstein were dropped.

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