The U.S. has seen a 1200% increase in the number of journalists arrested compared to 2019, according to a new report from Freedom of the Press foundation (FPF). The organization tracked 117 arrests or detainments of journalists, which is up from 9 last year. With data from the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, FPF found 1,000 press freedom violations, including physical attacks and border stops, but still FPF knows “of no police officer criminally charged for illegally arresting a journalist.”
A staggering 71 journalists were arrested while covering protests in the week after the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Kettling, the police tactic of corralling protesters, has caught journalists in crowds that led to their arrest nearly two dozen times.
According to the report, 26% of the arrests involved police exercising “unnecessary use of force.” While charges against many journalists have been dropped, at least 16—among them 10 freelancers—are still facing “long-term legal trouble.” FPF is still sorting through a dozen other possible violations from this year.
Read more at Common Dreams.