“They just swarmed over me. I got hit. My head hit the ground. They were hitting me, then someone pulled me out. I kept shooting it. As soon as I got up I started taking pictures.”
The mainstream media wasn’t particularly interested in covering the massive protests in Baltimore last Saturday. But once they heard about isolated incidences of violence at the rallies demanding “Justice for Freddie Gray” the began scrambling to hone in, while ignoring the rampant police brutality at the same marches.
Outside of the local area, the media has been silent on the police on the scene beating and arresting journalists, after first attempting to stop them from recording.
The lack of coverage is both striking and surprising, in that this was the media being attacked by violent riot cops, and yet the media is by-and-large ignoring these attacks on the First Amendment.
Last Saturday night, thousands flooded the streets of Baltimore to protest police murder of Freddie Gray. Gray died a just over a week ago after having his spinal cord severed by police who took him into custody after being filmed harassing him on the street.
Just outside of the Western District headquarters in Baltimore, reporters filming the protests that raged all of Saturday found themselves targeted by police violence. Police swarmed a small cluster of reporters with cameras, taking a few of them down and beating them.
A photo editor for City Paper, J.M. Giordano was tackled to the ground, with nearly half a dozen officers beating him, even though he had done nothing but filmed the police.
The crowd yelled “He’s a photographer! He’s press!”
Giordano explains “They just swarmed over me. I got hit. My head hit the ground. They were hitting me, then someone pulled me out. I kept shooting it. As soon as I got up I started taking pictures.”
The City Paper added that “He says the guy who was next to him (who did not throw anything, he is sure) got arrested and was loaded into a van. Joe was not. He thinks it is because police recognized him as a local reporter and figured arresting him would cause a backlash.”
“The[ police] tried to block me from shooting,” Giordano said.
The police also attacked City Paper Managing Editor, Baynard Woods, who filmed the incident. Reuters photographer, Sait Serkan Gurbuz, was attacked and arrested. Police charged Gurbuz with disorderly conduct.
Check out the video below. Do you see any “disorderly conduct” from anyone but the police?