ABOVE PHOTO: A police officer shouts at Associated Press videojournalist Robert Bumsted, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in New York. New York City police officers surrounded, shoved and yelled expletives at two Associated Press journalists covering protests Tuesday in the latest aggression against members of the media during a week of unrest around the country. Portions of the incident were captured on video by Bumsted, who was working with photographer Wong Maye-E to document the protests in lower Manhattan over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
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.
By Laura Hazard Owen
As Black Lives Matter protests spread across the country 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 140 incidents by Friday morning. You can see a visualization of the violence against journalists here. Bellingcat 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.
The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker counts more than 300 total press freedom violations.