SPONSORED:

Study: Arrests of journalists skyrocketed in the US this year

Study: Arrests of journalists skyrocketed in the US this year
© iStock

Arrests of journalists in the U.S. surged this year as reporters faced violence from both activists and police in their efforts to cover protests against law enforcement and racial inequality.

A study from the Freedom of the Press foundation revealed Monday that arrests of journalists in the U.S. were up 1,200 percent over the same period last year, with more than a dozen incidents still being investigated.

At the end of May and early June, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, more reporters were arrested in the U.S. than from all of 2017 to 2019; the highest concentration of arrests for the entire year was in the Minneapolis area.

ADVERTISEMENT

State-sanctioned violence against reporters also accompanied 36 percent of the arrests this year, according to the analysis, as more journalists than ever before reported injuries from tear gas, rubber bullets and other police methods.

“This report shows an unprecedented press freedom crisis engulfing the United States,” said Freedom of the Press executive director Trevor Timm. “Journalists should not have to worry about being arrested for doing their job, yet across the country police have disregarded their rights on a staggering scale."

"Despite scores of illegal arrests and assaults on journalists doing their jobs, we know of no police officer who has been criminally charged for these shocking violations of constitutional rights. We hope this report will spur local, state and federal officials to act," Timm added.

Protests erupted around the country and continued for months after Floyd's killing in late May; video of the incident showed a white officer leaning on the neck of Floyd, who is Black, for nearly nine minutes before his death.