Police apologize for Black reporter's arrest at rally

Police apologize for Black reporter's arrest at rally
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Police in Kalamazoo, Mich., apologized Sunday after a Black reporter was arrested the day before while covering a Proud Boys rally and counterprotests. 

“KDPS arrested an MLive reporter who they believed to be interfering or obstructing with their operations,” Kalamazoo Police Chief Karianne Thomas said during a press conference. “This person was wearing visible credentials and should not have been arrested.”

“I apologize for the trauma that it caused to this young man. We all respect the sanctity of the press,” Thomas added. 


The reporter, Samuel Robinson, had tweeted coverage from the protest throughout the day. He tweeted that he had been arrested and charged with impeding traffic while reporting live on Facebook for MLive. 

Kalamazoo police said nine arrests were made during demonstrations, and one juvenile who was arrested was later released to parents. 

The confrontation between the far-right Proud Boys, a designated hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and counterprotesters started just before 2 p.m., WOODTV reportedPolice said the Proud Boys had a planned rally and counter protesters, including the People’s Defense League of Michigan, staged their own event in the area, according to WOODTV. 

Five of the nine arrests were being handled by the city while four were being handled by the county, WWMT reported

Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson said he was consulting the city attorney to see if less-serious charges could be dropped, according to the outlet. The mayor reportedly said he didn’t want to ignore what had happened but asked the charges to be dropped, based on the context of the protests. 

He also denounced the Proud Boys and said he rejected the group's tactics and beliefs. 

"The city of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo administration for a fact support Black Lives Matter," Anderson said, according to WWMT.