As the number of activists arrested during the NYPD’s raid on Occupy Wall Street Tuesday morning continues to rise, so do the number of journalists arrested while documenting the eviction.
As of early Wednesday morning, just 24 hours after the surprise raid, more than 250 activists were listed as arrested along with at least ten journalists.
And from the photos and videos we’ve seen, it is clear that police had no doubt they were arresting journalists.
In fact, they most likely were targeting journalists, doing all they could to prevent the truth from coming out.
They even forbade a CBS news helicopter from occupying the air space above the encampment and they also ripped the credentials off an NBC reporter.
Also, a New York City Councilman was arrested and beat up for trying to access the scene to observe.
So far, the arrested journalists are as follows:
Jared Malsin, on assignment for the New York Times, was charged with disorderly conduct although it is clear from the video he recorded, posted above, that he was doing but his job.
Karen Matthews, reporter for The Associated Press, was charged with trespassing.
- Seth Wenig, photographer for The Associated Press, was charged with trespassing.
- Matthew Lysiak, reporter for the Daily News, was charged with trespassing.
- Julie Walker, on assignment for National Public Radio, was charged with disorderly conduct.
- Patrick Hedlund, news editor for DNAinfo.com, based out of Manhattan, was arrested.
- Paul Lomax, a photojournalist on assignment for DNAinfo.com, was arrested.
- Doug Higginbotham, a freelance video journalist working for TV New Zealand, said he was arrested while standing on top of a phone booth to video record.
- An unidentified reporter from Vanity Fair was arrested, according to the publication.
- Jennifer Weiss, a photojournalist shooting for Agance France Presse, was also arrested and transported in the same paddy wagon as Malsin.
Malsin wrote about his experience after he got out of jail, awkwardly describing himself in the third person.
The Local’s reporter, who repeatedly identified himself to the police as a journalist while on the scene, complied with the order and walked north while filming protesters, however (as seen at the 2:11 mark in the video) his progress was stopped by a group of officers blocking the sidewalk at the intersection of Broadway and John Street.
One of the officers arrested him using plastic Flexi-Cuffs, even as he continued to identify himself as a journalist and called attention to press credentials hanging from his neck.
The Local’s reporter was put onboard a police van with eight other arrestees, including two New School undergraduates, a photographer with Agance France Presse, and city councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, all handcuffed behind their backs. Mr. Rodriguez had blood on his temple from what he said was an earlier confrontation with the police.
While New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg probably expected to win political points on the decision, it appears to have backfired on him due to the NYPD’s aggressive and repressive treatment of the media.
According to the New York Times, many journalists who were not arrested were manhandled.
Some members of the media said they were shoved by the police. As the police approached the park they did not distinguish between protesters and members of the press, said Lindsey Christ, a reporter for NY1, a local cable news channel. “Those 20 minutes were some of the scariest of my life,” she said.
Ms. Christ said that police officers took a New York Post reporter standing near her and “threw him in a choke-hold.”
That reporter and two photographers with him declined to speak on the record because they are freelance workers and lack some of the job protections of full-time employees.
But as they sipped coffee on Tuesday morning in Foley Square, where some of the protesters had regrouped, they expressed surprise at the extent of what they described as police suppression of the press.
From the latter:
The brash manner in which officers ordered reporters off the streets and then made them back off until the actions of the police were almost invisible is outrageous.
We want the department to investigate the incidents involved in this crackdown on Zuccotti Park and we want assurances it won’t happen again.
Nicholas Kristoff, a New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, tweeted the following Tuesday afternoon.
Bloomberg has generally been a very impressive mayor over the years, but lately his #OWS approach is hamhanded.