The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists Saturday condemned reported attacks by police and protesters against journalists covering the demonstrations across the country that erupted after the Monday death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, an African American, in police custody.
“Targeted attacks on journalists, media crews, and news organizations covering the demonstrations show a complete disregard for their critical role in documenting issues of public interest and are an unacceptable attempt to intimidate them,” CPJ program director Carlos Martínez de la Serna said in the statement.
The journalist rights group called on city authorities across the nation “to instruct police not to target journalists and ensure they can report safely on the protests without fear of injury or retaliation.”
Meanwhile, the CPJ is investigating reports of attacks on and arrests of journalists in Atlanta; Las Vegas; Louisville, Kentucky; and Washington covering the unrest.
Also Saturday, the Society of Professional Journalists tweeted an open letter asking protesters and police not to attack or harass journalists.
"Before taking any aggressive action toward us, take a moment, take a breath, and decide to do the right thing and let us do our jobs," the letter read in part.
Protesters: Please don't attack or harass journalists covering #protests. They want to hear and tell YOUR stories. Please read this open letter. #StPaulProtest #PhoenixProtest #ColumbusProtest #SanJoseProtest #BrooklynProtest #GeorgeFloyd #Protest https://t.co/cGscEtiyi9 pic.twitter.com/Ozl74PqMsM— Society of Professional Journalists (@spj_tweets) May 31, 2020