Reporter advocates raise alarm over DNC police tactics

A group devoted to press freedom lodged a protest Wednesday over a USA Today video that shows police knocking a reporter to the ground as he videotaped law enforcement overpowering protesters in Denver.

USA Today video producer Garrett Hubbard “got roughed up” during a protest Monday when police in riot gear shot pepper balls into a crowd, eventually arresting around 100 demonstrators:

The AP says Reporters Without Borders, an advocacy group usually concerned with repressive regimes jailing or killing reporters, reminded authorities policing the Democratic National Convention that reporters have the right to cover demonstrations without getting knocked around. Denver’s top cop seconded the warning to the force to be careful, at least when reporters were around:

Police Chief Gerald Whitman reminded officers in writing Tuesday that Colorado law gives journalists some privileges when they’re covering riots.

Whitman says reporters and photographers don’t have to obey any order to disperse in riot conditions, though they are supposed to move to the edge of the crowd.

Denver’s police monitor says he is investigating possible use-of-force abuses depicted in a Rocky Mountain News video that shows a demonstrator shoved to the ground by a Denver cop with a baton.

Yesterday, The Colorado Independent posted video of two American News Project video producers who documented police trapping a group of marchers in a street demonstration. The journalists escaped but questioned whether police were removing them from the scene so no one would be watching as they encircled demonstrators.

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Ernest Luning

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