As protests across the U.S. raged over police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, police forces aimed to disperse demonstrators.
In some incidents, members of the news media appeared to be targeted, by police and protesters alike.
“Targeted attacks on journalists, media crews and news organizations covering the demonstrations show a complete disregard for their critical role in documenting issues of public interest and are an unacceptable attempt to intimidate them,” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, program director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “Authorities in cities across the U.S. need to instruct police not to target journalists and ensure they can report safely on the protests without fear of injury or retaliation.”
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The CPJ said it is investigating reports of attacks and arrests in Louisville, Kentucky, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
U.S. police have arrested or attacked journalists more than 110 times since May 28, according to the Nieman Foundation for Journalism,
President Donald Trump has verbally attacked the media throughout his term. Saturday afternoon, he tweeted a message that "Fake News is the Enemy of the People." Sunday, he accused the media of "doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy."
Publisher of USA TODAY and president of news for the USA TODAY Network Maribel Wadsworth, editor in chief of USA TODAY Nicole Carroll and vice president of local news for the USA TODAY Network Amalie Nash called on Sunday for attacks on journalists to end.
"We must be able to do our jobs safely," they wrote. "We call for an immediate end to law enforcement harassment and targeting of journalists who are clearly identified, not interfering in police activity and just doing their jobs: Bringing truth to the American people."
Christin McDonald from the@detnews is apprehended by DPD. We're not sure why. She's out here covering the protest. A big group of press just arrived and got her off.pic.twitter.com/TRIsLgHTpO— Mark Kurlyandchik (@MKurlyandchik)June 1, 2020
USA TODAY Network journalists
Monday night, Asbury Park Press reporter Gustavo Martínez Contreras filmed an extraordinary moment as police and protesters took a knee together during a rally at Asbury Park. Officers moved to clear the streets of protesters who remained out past a citywide curfew when they arrested Martínez Contreras. He was issued a summons for failing to obey an order to disperse and was released from police custody early Tuesday morning.
Also on Monday, Delaware News Journal reporter Jeff Neiburg and video strategist Jenna Miller were covering protests in Philadelphia when they were detained for about two hours, despite showing their credentials several times and saying they were media. They were released shortly after 9 p.m. and won't be charged.
Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Patrick Brennan was briefly detained Monday evening by police while covering protests in the city. Media are essential workers and were exempt from the citywide curfew. Brennan was released without being charged. Cincinnati Police later apologized for the incident.
Several arrests in the area earlier at McMicken & Stonewall. An@Enquirer reporter was temporarily detained &@WCPO reporter moved from the immediate area as officers were attempting to clear the street while having rocks thrown at them. We apologize for any inconvenience.— Cincinnati Police Department (@CincyPD)June 2, 2020
Late Sunday, Des Moines police arrested reporter Andrea Sahouri, of the Des Moines Register, part of the USA TODAY Network, for failure to disperse while she was covering the George Floyd demonstration at a local mall that turned violent.
In a video apparently recorded in a police transport vehicle while still at the Merle Hay Mall and then posted on Twitter, Sahouri said police sprayed her in the face with pepper spray after she identified herself as a member of the media. "I'm press. I'm press. I'm press," she said she told police.
KCCI earlier showed Sahouri sitting on a curb with her hands zip tied behind her back. It appeared she was wailing in pain from the pepper spray.
Another reporter who was with her at the event was not arrested but shared the same account with editors before Sahouri posted her video on Twitter.
Sahouri was released hours later and charged with failure to disperse and interference with official acts.
On Saturday night, Branden Hunter, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, went to an emergency room in Detroit after police administered tear gas during a protest. A cellphone, which was livestreaming the event, was knocked from a Free Press photographer's hand.
Free Press reporter JC Reindl was taken to an emergency room after he was pepper sprayed, though he showed a badg