A horse collided with the group, knocking Teachey over a cement barricade, cutting her knee deeply. Again they pleaded to get inside the security fence, says Teachey, but only one — a crying Indiana delegate with a torn dress — was allowed through. Seeking help for her bleeding cut, Teachey was instead ordered to keep moving with the protesters. Six different officers refused her pleas for help in finding first aid, and she had to walk blocks to the south side of the secured area, being admitted only after the intervention of an elderly delegate. The cut became infected due to delay in cleaning it out, said Teachey, “so I’ll have a nice little scar — it should be in the shape of an LAPD badge.”
Judy Holland, a reporter for Hearst Newspapers’ Washington bureau, said she was clubbed by an officer and knocked to the ground as she was trying to return from the convention to the Marriott Hotel. She had removed her press ID and DNC credentials at the suggestion of several officers at Staples who told her demonstrators might hurt her if she was wearing them. The Chronicle and Hearst have also sent written protests to the city over police conduct.
On Wednesday, at a protest against police brutality, a Cable News Network sound technician sought medical attention after being struck in the chest by a police baton during a standoff between police officers and protesters. A 62-year-old CBS-TV cameraman was hit in the chest and bleeding during the Wednesday encounter.
Still other reporters and photographers who mingled with the crowd leaving the protest/concert area were hit with rubber bullets fired by police.
Associated Press broadcast reporter Brian Bland and Flynn McRoberts of the Chicago Tribune were arrested Tuesday night while covering a bike-ride protest to “take back the streets” and “relieve traffic congestion and pollution.” The two reporters were arrested with 35 protesters from the Critical Mass group while cycling through downtown streets with police escorts. They were held for more than seven hours before being released; other cyclists were held for more than 30 hours. The two reporters and the others were initially cited for “reckless driving” of a bicycle, but this charge was changed to “obstructing a public way,” a misdemeanor, when prosecutors realized that the recklessness charge cannot apply to bicycles. McRoberts’ rented bicycle is still being held by police as evidence. Bland’s sound-recording equipment and bicycle were confiscated. The AP is protesting the arrest. LAPD Commander David Kalish said that the two reporters were arrested because they were doing the same things that the protesters were doing. Bland says he wasn’t aware of anything illegal going on. Arraignments are scheduled for September 5.
Arresting and assaulting journalists during Democratic Convention week seems to be part of a growing trend during protests at large political events, said Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “Police and prosecutors are arresting and charging journalists for doing their jobs at rates not seen in decades. There’s no willingness to give reporters the benefit of the doubt anymore.”