A police officer holds a tear gas launcher in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 13, 2021. Police have recently detained journalists covering protests in the city. (Reuters/Leah Millis)

CPJ calls on local law enforcement in US to ensure journalist safety amid protests

Washington, D.C., April 16, 2020 – The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on law enforcement in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and around the United States to ensure that journalists can freely and safely cover demonstrations against police violence.

“We are deeply concerned by reports about law enforcement detaining members of the media covering protests in Brooklyn Center, and by authorities’ heavy-handed use of so-called less-lethal weapons,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna, in New York. “Demonstrations against police violence are of immense public interest, and journalists should be able to cover them freely without concern that they will be attacked or arrested.”

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which CPJ founded with Freedom of the Press Foundation, is investigating reports that police in Brooklyn Center have briefly detained at least five journalists since protests began on April 11 over the killing of Daunte Wright, as well as seven reported assaults on journalists by police and protesters, including one instance of a journalist shot with a less-lethal round. Protests are widely expected in Chicago in coming days over the police shooting of teenage boy Adam Toledo, according to news reports.