In rare letter, CPJ board calls on U.S. local authorities to halt arrests, assaults on journalists

New York, June 5, 2020–The board of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists today sent a rare letter demanding that U.S. governors, mayors, and police chiefs take immediate action to stop assaults on journalists covering protests across the country.

The collective message from some of the world’s leading media figures called on authorities to ensure that journalists can exercise their right to inform the public and that there are consequences for those attacking the media, whether the attacker is a police officer or a civilian.

Since protests against police brutality began in the wake of the death of unarmed black civilian George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25, CPJ and the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker have been investigating reports of over 300 incidents of journalists attacked and arrested, the majority at the hands of police. Many of the journalists say they were deliberately targeted by law enforcement.

In the letter, they note, “This is not a singular cry of protest. As we continue the investigation of the anti-press complaints, we intend to pursue justice for journalists who were attacked or unjustly detained.”

CPJ also published a video today compiling clips of some of the attacks on journalists in the U.S.

Read the full letter here, and find a list of CPJ’s board of directors here.