In the most forceful terms, ASMP condemns the attacks on journalists, photojournalists and video journalists during the protests taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic killing.
The attacks we are seeing are wholly unjustified and completely unacceptable. Members of the press who are reporting on the aftermath of this tragedy are doing so in order to keep their fellow citizens informed. Their work is crucial as a vehicle in holding those in power accountable. Attacking these men and women betrays one of the central tenets in our Bill of Rights — namely the guarantee of a free press as a check on government, particularly when power is abused.
We demand that these attacks cease immediately. We further urge that the perpetrators be held accountable.
We urge that law enforcement honor the rights and responsibilities of journalists to provide coverage of ongoing events. We expect them to refrain from physically attacking members of the media and from making illegal when journalists doing their work lawfully.
In the same vein, we also call upon protestors to stop physically attacking the media. The press is instrumental in uncovering the many wrongs of people in power. Inhibiting reporters’ and photographers’ capacity to do this job by subjecting them to physical violence and property destruction serves no useful purpose and must end.