This is a judgment call. Yes, a reporter has every right to cover a riot and shouldn’t be targeted for police harassment. But, if the reporter ignores police commands to disperse and or becomes a participant in the riot, can police legitimately arrest the reporter? Journalists are up in arms over this Iowa case. But most real reporters know that things can get dicey when you insert yourself into violent situations. They take the consequences if they come about. The event in question was also a Black Lives Matter march.
The terrorist racist thugs of the group are not exactly friendly to police, making the situation even more dangerous. The young reporter, who wasn’t wearing press credentials, should have been more careful. Saying that, is there really a need to prosecute her? Though, if she was hiding behind her press status to make common cause with the reverse pigment Klan of BLM, then throw the book at her.
FNC: “An Iowa journalist faces trial Monday on charges stemming from her coverage of a protest, a case that prosecutors have pursued despite international condemnation from free press advocates who say she was just doing her job. The case of Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri, who was pepper-sprayed and arrested while reporting on a clash between protesters and police, will highlight an aggressive response by Iowa authorities against those who organized and attended protests that erupted last summer and turned violent.
— Andrea May Sahouri (@andreamsahouri) June 1, 2020
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“Sahouri and her former boyfriend are charged with failure to disperse and interference with official acts, misdemeanors that could bring fines and up to 30 days in jail. They face a two-day trial at Drake University in what the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker says could be the first for a working journalist nationwide since 2018. Sahouri’s newspaper, the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and Amnesty International are among press advocates that have demanded Polk County drop the charges, which they call an abuse of power that violates the Constitution’s First Amendment. But Des Moines police and County Attorney John Sarcone’s office argue that Sahouri wasn’t wearing press credentials and appeared to be a participant in an unlawful assembly, saying journalists do not have a free pass to ignore dispersal orders. The only such order identified in court documents was issued roughly 90 minutes before the arrest.”
“This is outrageous. Reporting at a protest scene as a working member of the media is not a crime. It is a right that must be protected,” Amnesty International said. It is. But Amnesty International has a record of scrutinizing free countries and giving places like Cuba and Venezuela a pass. So perhaps their credentials for defending those who were not wearing credentials do not stand the test of credibility. As for the reporter? Hell, nobody ever heard of her until this. She should consider it a lucky break.