As protests spread across the country one week after a white police officer allegedly murdered a black man, George Floyd, it’s becoming clear that attacks by police on journalists are becoming a widespread pattern, not one-off incidents. While violence against press-credentialed reporters covering the protests may still be dwarfed by violence against the American citizens who are protesting, incidents are piling up — and are getting more attention in part because the journalists being attacked include those from large mainstream news organizations.
A number of efforts are underway to try to track the attacks on journalists, which are often first documented on Twitter. Bellingcat senior investigator Nick Waters had documented 113 incidents by Tuesday morning. #101 occurred outside the White House, when federal law enforcement attacked a group of protestors and journalists with tear gas, allowing the president a clear path to walk to a photo opportunity in which he held a Bible in front of St. John’s Church. A story on Bellingcat’s site, “U.S. Law Enforcement Are Deliberately Targeting Journalists During George Floyd Protests,” provides more insight into some of the incidents, and notes:
Although in some incidents it is possible the journalists were hit or affected accidentally, in the majority of the cases we have recorded the journalists are clearly identifiable as press, and it is clear that they are being deliberately targeted. This pattern of violence against journalists is replicated in several cities, but appears most intense in Minneapolis.
Incident 101: member of the press deliberately attacked by what appears to be federal law enforcement in order to allow Mr Trump to walk from the White House to St John’s Church without being disturbed. https://twitter.com/MLevineReports/status/1267588759794716677?s=20 …Mike Levine ✔@MLevineReports