The Associated Press reported Wednesday on the treatment of two of its reporters by New York Police Department officers during Tuesday night’s protests.
The officers “surrounded, shoved and yelled expletives at” the journalists, according to the AP. Videojournalist Robert Bumsted caught some of the incident on camera and the footage shows more than a half-dozen officers confronting the duo as they reported on officers’ efforts to enforce a new 8 p.m. ET curfew enacted after days of unrest in America.
When ordered to leave, Bumsted is heard explaining that as “essential workers,” the press is exempt from the curfew.
“I don’t give a s—,” responds one officer.
“Get the f— out of here you piece of s—,” says another.
The AP reports both Bumsted and colleague Maye-E Wong were wearing press identification and the NYPD has vowed to “review” the incident.
Myles Miller, a reporter for NBC New York, corroborated the story on Twitter, writing, “At this scene, a chief told these cops to allow us to be there, 30 seconds later they pulled out their batons and told us to leave and used profanities. Journalists covering the protests have to stick together, it’s safer for all of us.”
In the video provided by the AP, one officer is heard demanding of the journalists, “Who are you essential to? Who are you essential to?”
In recent days, journalists across the country covering the protests and unrest in response to the police killing of George Floyd have been attacked and arrested by police, with several of those incidents occurring on air.