LAST WEEK, BEFORE HEADING OUT to report on New York City’s intensifying protests over the death of George Floyd, I cut a patch out of a white T-shirt, scribbled press on it with a black Sharpie, and pinned it to my backpack. A few days later, feeling the need for an added measure of security, I painted press in white-out across my bike helmet.

The labels made me more visible, but it’s unlikely they actually protected me much. After reporting on the protests night after night and repeatedly getting cornered by police, I’m certain the only thing that’s kept me out of jail is the three-by-five-inch plastic rectangle hanging from my neck: my NYPD-issued press pass.

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